While putting away laundry the other day I realized that out of the five drawers in my dresser, four of them are given over mostly to T-Shirts. That’s a lotta T-shirts, especially when I realized that I haven’t purchased a T-shirt in years*. So where do they all come from?
Well, the few that I had purchased about five years ago were solid colors and probably a size too large. No words or pictures or designs. A tabula rasa that refuses to divulge personal details to strangers.
I have a number of shirts purchased for me by my wife and kids for father’s day or just for fun: The Beatles circa 1964, Underdog, Napoleon Dynamite, an aardvark. From my sister is a very cool Mickey Mouse shirt in black and red, given to me back in college and she couldn’t understand why if I liked it so much I didn’t wear it more often… now in worn thin tatters.
There’s a one of a kind hunter green with a white woodcut of Abraham Lincoln, still in great condition, a “proof” shirt from my days at The Lincoln Museum over ten years ago. There’s also a grey one that has fared less well.
Let us not forget the Mr. Peabody T-shirt from my grandfather for Christmas. This was the year that he ordered everyone’s gifts from catalogs, in retrospect a sign that his aging lifestyle was slowing down even further.
Various other shirts now used for painting and working on the car… one with a train on it, one for a long-defunct band Frog Hollow- a gift from a high school teacher who was also a friend when I went to see his sons band (the aforementioned Frog Hollow) and he was indirectly asking my opinion if his son was wasting his life away pursuing music instead of a college degree- various shirts that I forgot or was too lazy to change out of before painting or working on a project, now doomed to a decaying life of paint streaks and oil circles.
The few concert T-Shirts are packed away for archeological studies in the year 2105, most notably an Alice Cooper shirt from his 1987 tour. Possibly saved is a gorier one from his 1988 tour (both of which narrowly missed being eBayed with I needed some cash a few years ago). Most likely gone is a Welcome To My Nightmare shirt that I had custom made in 1985 at the Woodburn County Fair, tagging along with Brad Owens, the best guitar player I knew. Also MIA is a custom made Fluid Imbiber shirt with artwork penned up in that plastic fabric pen gunk, a nearly sheer (it came that way) yellow beauty from the Baa Baa do Sheep Manure company, and the shirt for Adam Again’s album Dig.
Speaking of “not in the drawer” is a T-shirt of my dad’s business, Hoffman Nursery, framed and hanging proudly in the basement alongside a shirt from my father-in-laws business, Davis Construction.
Perhaps I should mention the asterisk above… the Sleepytime Gorilla Museum T-Shirt purchased just this past summer as part of a “package” with their latest album for just a few dollars more. It’s a very dark green and the smallish design is in black so you can barely see it. But sometimes I wear it, a vain hope in my head that some other SGM freak will be hanging out at Lowe’s and befriend me. So far nothing but there’s always Home Depot.