That ’50s Kid

A deep look into the life of modern-day greaser, Matthew Goans


Caché Goracke

Matthew Goans poses with his signature leather jacket and a bottle of Buffalo sauce: the inspiration behind his nickname, Sssauce.

Caché Goracke, Editor N Chief

You might’ve seen him in the hallways. The kid with the leather boots and the snake on his back. Or maybe you’ve seen a kid with numerous bottles of buffalo sauce and you thought to yourself, ‘why’? Junior Matthew L. Goans, or as he likes to be called, Sssauce, says that few people actually know him.  

If you’ve ever had a conversation with Sssauce, almost as soon as you’ve said hello, questions are raised. For starters, how do you get a name like Sssauce, and further, why so many S’s. Short answer, it’s complicated. Long answer, the three S’s come from the three reasons he goes by Sssauce. 

  “When I was 13, me and my dad were eating dinner with the rest of the family and he asked me if I wanted to try his sauce,” Goans said. 

His dad has a very special homemade sauce made from two ingredients: vinegar and Carolina reapers. 

“So I dabbed a little on my finger,” Goans said. “I gave it a try. It was pretty good, but then I made the horrible mistake of not washing my hands and rubbing it in my eye.” 

It was after this incident that his family coined him Sssauce, but eventually, combined with other reasons, it completely took the place of Matthew. 

“The second reason is because I put Buffalo sauce on just about everything, and the third reason…I tend to drink it.” 

It’s not an unusual sight to see Goans strolling about with more than one bottle of Buffalo sauce, and If you ask him, he might just drink some. 

Aside from the catchy nickname and the slight obsession with Buffalo sauce, another thing that sets him apart is what he calls his “greaser style.”

The term greaser was popular in the ’50s and ‘60s referencing a young man who greased his hair and drove a motorcycle. Think Grease, The Outsiders, Rebel Without a Cause. Goans, who comes from quite a deep line of bikers, said growing up he always dressed a little bit like he was from the ’50s leather jackets, jeans, boots, and jean jackets. It was a mix of influences from the many changes in his life when he was around 13 that inspired this. 

Sssauce’s parents divorced when he was 5 years old, and his mom got custody. But when he was 12, she decided he needed a male influence and sent him to live with his dad in Baldwin City. He describes their relationship as progressive. 

“I’m not going to lie, when I moved in with my dad, I don’t think my mother punished me enough because I was a bit of a devil child,” Goans said. “And he’s kind of straightened me out. Over the years, it’s kind of gone from a bad relationship to a pretty good one.”

In a way, he shares his style with his father who also sports leather jackets and rides a motorcycle. But Goans’s stepbrother, a die-hard Elvis fan, also had an impact on his style. 

“You can’t find anything with Elvis’s face on it he doesn’t already have,”  Goans said. 

This sparked his fascination in the ‘50s, especially ‘50s music. He listens to mostly rock, but at times a little bit of country. But as far as greasing his hair goes, that started at the 2019 choir concert, Last Sensation. 

“For choir, we had to do a talent show,” Goans said. “And one of the acts, all of us guys were in was “Grease Lightening,” where we reenacted the song. I had to grease for that, and then I just kind of went for it. It stuck with me.” 

“I actually just got new pomade,” Goans said. “It smells like lemon cookies.”

Now, the thought of putting grease in your hair might make some cringe, but according to Sssauce, pomade is the way to go as it is far healthier than gel, and made from completely natural ingredients. Sssauce even says that when he strips his hair of all the grease, it’s some of the healthiest hair out there. The pomade makes this natural blonde’s hair appear dark, but don’t be fooled. 

  “Blonde doesn’t go as well with the jacket,” Goans said. 

The jacket, by the way, is named Pasta Sauce. He only names the things he has with him on a regular basis, like his headphones, ‘the peppers’, and things of great importance to him. His signature leather jacket features a snake on the back, and is a replica from a video game that he says is very close to his heart. 

“In Fallout 3, there is a greaser gang called tunnel snakes which is, I’m ashamed to say, just three jerks…that wear the same jacket…and grease their hair,” Goans said

Nevertheless he found replicas of these jackets online and he was determined to get one. 

“It was 130 bucks,” Goans said. “But it was an extra 60 if you want real leather, which of course I do. So I did a whole bunch of work, saving up all my money to buy this jacket. Luckily, I got a little bit of a discount because I bought it in the summer and no one wears leather jackets in July.” 

Goans wears a replica of a tunnel snake jacket from the video game Fallout 3.

Leather jacket, greased hair, and Buffalo sauce combined, its safe to say Sssauce acquires some looks from people. Goans says they are usually pretty mixed, and while some people think it’s really cool, he often gets looks of disgust. He recalls one day when he went to Target to buy shirts with his mom and a particular look from a stranger bothered her very much. 

“It’s almost like they think I’m some kind of abomination. Like I’m a disgrace to mankind,” Goans said. 

But Sssauce also believes some of the looks come from miscalculated intimidation. He compares them with the way people have looked at his dad in the past. 

 “I know a lot of people are intimidated by him, which I can see where it comes from because he looks really tough, but growing up with him, he’s too soft to see him that way,” Goans said.

What you can’t see just by looking at Sssauce, are the lesser-known things that make him who he is.

“I know myself,” Goans said. “I know I’m not just the ‘50s kid. But I can see it would be very easy for people to view me that way. You know, not a lot of people know me too well, so they see me and you know, they think ‘oh that’s the ‘50s kid…who drinks buffalo sauce.’” 

Apart from his style, condiment choices, and other quirks, when asked who he was, Sssauce answered that he is an entertainer at heart. He loves to tell stories and jokes that make people laugh, and he even loves to sing. He joined choir, against his will, in eighth grade, but it wasn’t long before he fell in love with it. 

“At the time, we were still living in Baldwin city,” Goans said, “And at that point, there were only two electives open that I could take, and it was either band or choir. I thought I was going to absolutely hate it. Originally, I genuinely thought singing was emasculating, which of course, I’ve completely gone back on.”

Since the eighth grade, Goans has continued choir and says it has since helped him get over stage fright and be much more confident performing in front of other people. Which, he believes, is great for the entertainer aspect of his personality. 

Though he may come off intimidating at first glance, Matthew Goans is just a friendly and open kid, who likes to drink Buffalo sauce and listen to ‘50s music. When asked if he’d rather have an old-school black Cadillac with a V8 engine and more horsepower than he can handle or a motorcycle, Goans said, “I would have to flip a coin.”