365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

T-shirt #275 - Smokey the Bear

T-shirt #275 - Smokey the Bear

I love this shirt. I think it's iconic, and yet usefully informative.


The website is pretty cool. Check it out. Tour through the Smokey memorabilia. I checked this post for the 1970s Nostalgia category because my best memories of my Smokey are from the 1970s especially during the years I was a Cub Scout and a Webelos Scout. I did not advance to Boy Scouts as they did things on Saturday mornings, and I prefered to stay home and watch cartoons. Had I grown up in the age of VCRs or DVRs, I would have recorded those shows and gone camping.

Today's shirt is a favorite. I consider it kind of "dressy" because of the collar. Imagine my consternation when, as a puppy, Satchel slashed a hole in the shirt. Hence, my "before" photo above left. I had a local seamstress patch the shirt, and thus, the next photo (directly left) is an "after" photo. If you are local and need seamstress work done, her name is Joann Wespinter. I have her contact information if you leave me a message or look her up. Beware, she also sells Amway but not too evangelically.

I am happy to have one of my favorite shirts repaired. You have to get your face right next to the fabric to see the patch.

This is another post that went up on its original day incomplete. I am finishing it the next day.

As for the hat, I unearthed it while packing up things during the move my parents made back in January of this year (2013). I had many T-shirts that I let go in that purge. I have mentioned this sequence of events before. I had the idea for the T-shirt blog in time to start it January 1st 2013, but I didn't think anyone would be interested, considered it overly narcissistic, and was not sure I could keep it going on a daily basis. Thus, when I was going through stuff for my parents' move, I let many T-shirts get away, old ones that I had not worn in a long time or ones that did not really fit anymore. Had I known I would reconsider the T-shirt blog, I would have kept the clothing.

Old toys also re-surfaced in this packing and moving enterprise. The Smokey hat came to my house and was soon propped on a light in my office where it has stayed all year. I believe it has been seen in the blog several times already. I have also written about letting go and growing up a few times, enough to justify a category. Keeping the hat in plain sight and wearing the shirt makes me feel connected to my childhood and keeps my parents alive for me. I really miss my mother. She's still alive, but she is not the same as she was before she contracted bacterial meningitis. I often wonder what our lives would have been like had she avoided that coma of 2000 and the resulting paralysis. This shirt and the hat symbolize these thoughts and these wonderings.

The picture above is from our Hazelwood house where we lived from 1969 to 1978, just northwest of Richland, near the Upjohn (not Pfizer) farms. It's possible that the Smokey the Bear hat is under that tree in one of those wrapped presents. This photo pre-dates the built in couch my father put in that living room, and so is probably from the early 1970s. My sister was probably 2-4 years old, I am judging, by the presents, and so I am guessing this photo comes from 1971-1973. I may update this part of the blog if I can get confirmation from my father on the likely year of the photo.

Given that Smokey the Bear warns of the dangers of forest fires, I thought I would share this photo from one of our Long Lake vacations in Traverse City. Given my hair and that awesome Tigers shirt plus the size of my sister, I am guessing this photo comes from 1973 or 1974. Again, I may update if my father gives more information. He should have named the photos with years.

I had an idyllic childhood. For that, I am forever grateful and blessed.


- chris tower - first published - 1312.21 - 21:12
final publication - 1312.22 - 9:41