Bartlett bought this jacket at the Army supply store Ranger Joes when it was located in the downtown district of his hometown of Columbus, Georgia, just two blocks away from where The Bo Bartlett Center is now housed. The young aspiring artist had recently graduated from Brookstone School and was leaving for Florence to study art. The artist did not own a jacket at the time, or a sweater for that matter, and purchased this military flight jacket prior to departing for Europe. It was worn when he hitch-hiked over the Alps from Florence to Paris in the Fall of 1974 and was on hand when he started Damascus Road twelve years later.
The artist poses twice in this painting from his Au Temps series, both as military personnel. Once in the lower right corner wearing an Army Airborne hat and signaling to the viewer to caution or stay back, and as the central figure seen from behind in the flight jacket, helmet and rifle.