This history of the B&B would not be complete without a mention of the important role that Officer Jim Neuman has played over the years in supporting the B&B and in ensuring the continuity of its core values and traditions. Jim is a Southern Californian who grew up in Whittier and attended USC. After college, Jim served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and spent part of his active duty on ships stationed off Vietnam. After his release from active duty, Jim transitioned to the Navy Reserve, and served continuously as a reservist until reaching retirement age. Perhaps because of his experience in the Navy, Jim has a highly honed interest in uniforms, and after his return to Los Angeles in the early 70’s, this interest led him to the B&B. Jim joined the B&B in 1974, six years after the club’s founding. Jim has been a club member over the succeeding 44 years, making him the B&B officer with the longest participation in the club. Because Jim knew and was close to many of the club’s founding members and because he has been an active participant in the club for over four decades, he knows the club’s history, traditions, and values, and has been able to pass them on to succeeding generations of B&B officers.
In addition to transmitting the club’s history and values, Jim has been an active force in shaping the club and keeping it healthy and alive. An important dimension of Jim’s imprint on the club is the example he sets in his passion for uniforms.
Jim can be counted on to show up at meetings in a club uniform that is perfectly tailored and complete in every detail, or a beautiful and remarkable police or military uniform from his collection of uniforms that is so large that he has to store it in a warehouse. Given his knowledge of uniforms and his experience in acquiring them, he has been an invaluable resource to fellow officers, providing them with information on the what, where, and how of acquiring uniforms and uniform accessories. In an unassuming and behind-the-scenes way, Jim has been an angel to the club over the years, underwriting the costs of entertainment and sometimes a full event that would not have been possible otherwise. Jim’s hospitality has also been important to the club and to the club’s relationship to the larger leather world. In addition to hosting meetings over the years in his homes in Newport Beach and later Palm Springs as well as his mountain house in Wrightwood, Jim annually hosts several large parties at his home that provide club members opportunities to socialize with a broad range of men from the uniform and leather communities.
Over the years, Jim has stepped up to the plate to provide leadership to the club. Jim served as Deputy Chief from 1997 through 2002, and then again in 2004. In 2003, Jim served as Co-Chief with Mel Saddler, as Chief in 2006, and now in this 50th anniversary year, he is serving as co-Chief with Robert Green. For the past 10 years, Jim has ably served as the B&B’s Financial Officer. Both in exercising his formal roles and in informal ways, Jim has been a steady hand, providing the club with perspective on the decisions it needs to make, and deftly addressing and defusing the controversies that can sometimes arise in any organization. It is fair to say that over the past several decades, Jim Neuman has been a key factor ensuring the B&B’s survival and success.
1977. Jim Neuman at the pool party at Neil Cowan’s San Marino estate, three years after Jim joined the B&B in 1974.
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