Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Trying again with T-shirts!

WHOO.  A big Jungle Red standing ovation to Marla Braden, who is such a genius she figured out where to retrieve the vanished blog. There are only 6 comments, instead of the 61 there when this entire post mysteriously poofed away an hour ago. I had managed to retrieve all those wonderful comments, too,  another way, and I will try to copy those in somehow. I read them all, trust me, and commented. But whew, thanks to the fab Marla, the blog is back.  Never a dull moment!



T-shirts! Trash or Treasures?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  I need your advice. First, the good news: I got to sit in business class on the train from New York to Boston. The bad news: its not the quiet car.
The bad news: You can hear everyone's conversations.
The good news: You can hear everyone's conversations.

So, what could I do but listen? And behind me, a woman was on the phone talking about how one of her friends was moving to a new apartment and what made it so hard was that this friend could never throw anything away.

I was feeling very virtuous about what a good thrower-awayer I am until I thought about the t-shirts. Because, since it is just us, I can reveal that I have a bag of t-shirts in one closet in our house. And I did not even know what was inside. Was I just like train-talker's friend?

So, inspired and semi-embarrassed, when I got home from Thrillerfest, (and most about that soon)---I thought: Okay. I am going to throw away all those old t-shirts. Adios, goodbye, gone.

So, as I said,  I need your advice.

Could you throw these away?  I've been a reporter for forty years. And, um, got a lot of t-shirts.

Here's the Red Sox in 1986, American League champs, and the 2001 Patriots. A Super Bowl I covered. A 1984  Boston Marathon shirt from one of the years I watched the whole thing backward from the back of a pickup truck in front of the lead woman runners, reporting via two-way radio. Throw these? Yes or no?




How about these? From TV stations I've worked for, with changed and now-vanished logos, and shows that were cancelled, slogans that have faded from memory. The Lillehammer Olympics. This is part  of my work past. Save or throw?


These make me so nostalgic! The Paul Simon-Bob Dylan concert? The STONES???? That's a keeper, right?  The Bread and Roses rally in Lawrence? And here is the t-shirt from the 1998 concert of the Century on the Champs de Mars in Paris: The Three Tenors. Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras. No way I'm giving that up. Vincero.



And--come on, you guys. My t-shirts from my time working at Rolling Stone Magazine?  The t-shirt from playing Hitchhiker's Guide? (Did you catch the Babel fish?)   And how about that anti-war number? And oh--NORML. I used to date the guy who was the head of it--and he introduced me to...truly? Coffee. I had my first cup of real coffee, cream and sugar, with Keith. Keeping that.
Right?


What do I keep and what do I throw?

And, Reds and readers, do you have a stash of t-shirts? Why? Which ones can you not bear to throw away?

(and more on this week's winners tomorrow!

45 comments:

  1. Yay! Glad you got your post back, and I was happy to help.

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  2. Crazy! Thanks, Marla - how'd you do it? Others of us also blog on Blogger, and if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere...

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    1. Never mind - I just read your comment on the other post. A great tip to remember.

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    2. Luckily Google had a cached version of the post, so I just searched on Google and found the link to the cache (on my browser the cache is accessed from the little green down arrow that appears to the right of any of the URLs returned in your Google search results). It's not perfect, since the cache might not be the most up-to-date version, but it beats starting from scratch!

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    3. But SO interesting--I tried the cache thing, too, and it was not there!! That's why I am trying to figure out what you did differently, Marla. When I looked, it had yesterday's post. Does that make ANY sense??

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  3. Congrats on getting the post back. Some things I have just given up the keep-toss dilemma. T-shirts are in that category. Every once in awhile I take another look and maybe something goes, but probably not. I have mine in a tub way back in my closet so have convinced myself not taking up any room and that, no, I am not a hoarder!

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    1. Wasn't it crazy?The post, and ALL those comments..just went away. I have the comments, though, so at least I didn't hallucinate them. ! Yeesh. As for the tub in the closet? I'm with you!I

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  4. But SO interesting--I tried the cache thing, too, and it was not there!! That's why I am trying to figure out what you did differently, Marla. When I looked, it had yesterday's post. Does that make ANY sense??

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    1. Did you search on Google? That's the only site I've ever tried to access a cache from, although I'm sure there are others. But if you searched there and didn't find your post, I have no answers.

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    2. Yes, that's exactly what I did! SO weird.

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    3. But I am SO glad it worked for you! You must have the magic...xoo

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    4. That is weird. I must have special Google powers. Who knew?

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  5. Don't throw them out! Re-purpose them! I have a friend who uses iron-on knit stabilizer to turn her old t-shirts into quilts and throws. She'll iron the stabilizer on the back of the logo area of the shirt, cut the logo out to a standard-sized square, and then sew them all together with spacer strips of sashing, which stabilizes the fabric even more, so it won't stretch out in all directions when you try to quilt it. Take the whole project to someone who quilts by machine, and before you know it, you can snuggle up to nap, watch old movies, or picnic in the garden with all those old shirts, using them until they totally fall apart.

    On the other hand, you could contact the Smithsonian to see if they need any of those in their archives, or just donate the ones you no longer care about to the local homeless shelter.

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    1. Every single one of those..a great idea!

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    2. T-shirt quilts are really big right now!

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  6. Okay, on the T-shirts: Do you even wear T-shirts these days? Yes? Then if they still fit, wear them! If there some you don't like give them to charity, as there are very many people who love T-shirts like these. Don't just toss them.

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    1. Oh, I won't toss the special ones.. and the others I will donate! Great...xoo

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  7. T-shirts from events and places are such emotional touch stones. My James Taylor one reminds me of taking my son, when he was a senior in high school, to see a singer that I loved (and still do) when I was a senior in high school. T-shirts from places that I've visited, some I might not see again, let me feel the pleasure of that time I experienced there. Heck, I even have a few t-shirts of my kids' that are special. So, I think you should keep your t-shirts, Hank. I think you could even wear them and dress them up with a nice jacket and slacks or skirt, especially in black. If anybody can pull off classy in a t-shirt, you can.

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    1. Well, you are so sweet--and so supportive! Hmm. I might try that. Under a jacket--might work. Maybe I could have them tailored.... KIDDING!

      Aw, that is a very lovely James Taylor memory...

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  8. okay . . . . I copied the original post and your comment, Hank"
    Joan EmersonJuly 18, 2018 at 1:05 AM
    I’m not always as good at tossing things as I ought to be, but you should keep those t-shirts. They have such meaning. I’d make them into a memory quilt rather than leaving them stuffed in a bag in the back of the closet, though.

    Do I have t-shirts? Sure do. Space-themed; book-themed. Will I toss them? Not a chance.
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    Hank Phillippi RyanJuly 18, 2018 at 4:33 AM
    Oh, tell us your favorites!

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    1. My favorite space shirt is a footsteps on the moon Apollo 11 commemorative; my best book shirt says, “All I need is a cup of coffee and a good book” . . . .

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  9. My favorites I wear until they are no longer wearable in decent company and even then I might hang onto them for times when it's just me ;-) They go in the ragbag at some point. But your collection? The framing idea from earlier--that leaves you with a bunch of things to hang on the wall--great if you have the space, but then something for the next generation to deal with. A quilt--I love quilts, but I've yet to see a t-shirt version that I liked. Keep the ones that mean the most to you--who cares if they're stashed in a bin or a bag? And the others--like Jay said earlier and another commenter--recycle through charity, thrift shop, resale, ebay--charity auction (?) and donate the proceeds.

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  10. They have places that make all these T shirts into a quilt. You could have a concert quilt and a memorable events quilt made to drape over you while you watch TV. OR you could sell them on e-Bay and buy a new car/boat/summer cottage

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  11. What if you were to take pictures of all of them and make a photo collage? Or take a picture of all of them laid out together, and then you would have that photo and could frame it for your office or never look at it again! Once you have a photo or photos, I would donate most of them except for a couple.

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    1. Donation is sounding like a good idea--someone would love them! xxox

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  12. Hank,
    My cousins daughter-in-law has a business making quilts and blankets from old t-shirts and similar items. If you want to take a look, go to "Memory Blankets by Mel" on Facebook or @memoryblanketsbymel. Jim and Suzi in Charleston

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  13. Well, that's disappointing that the blog disappeared. I never got to see if Hank responded to my reply.

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    1. Oh, so sorry! And what a ridiculous thing, But I did answer, because you said you couldn't imagine me in a t-shirt, and that I was elegant and classy, (which I plan to make a t-shit of.) But I have a file of the comments--so what I said was "Oh, that is so funny! What a wonderful compliment! Awww....and you are right, I just wear those t-shirts at home." And I am in awe that you have a 2008 Celtics t!

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  14. Our "stash" isn't commemorative t-shirts.....it's logo ball caps. We have a box full, a plastic bag of some more, and the current crop that we still wear. Included in these gems are "Proud (insert name of grandchilds' college) Grandparent", favorite holiday destinations, golf club hats (husband), baseball teams in the Bay Area, Football team.....and you can't make these into a quilt! We do have two special t-shirts from long ago that we purchased along with two toothbrushes at Thrifty Drug Store when we went for a planned day trip to Pacific Grove here in California and were having so much fun, we spontaneously decided to stay overnight. Pretty wild decision for my husband the planner who likes to keep to that plan. The fun part is that all these years later we sometimes still use those T-Shirts emblazoned with PACIFIC GROVE as pjs....a happy memory. Hank, by the looks of some of the shirts, if you have teenage grandkids, I think they would be mighty impressed to wear such special pieces of "history".

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  15. I like the suggestion to have them framed. If you have a lot of wall space, you can hang two or three at a time for a couple of months, then hang up another couple of them for a couple of months, etc.

    I like to buy a tee shirt on every vacation, depicting something that is special to me from my vacation place. I don't know how many tee shirts I have; I haven't counted in a long time! I have about half a dozen tee shirts given to me by the place I go to for PT from time to time, etc. Since it's so hard for me to say goodbye to clothing I like (yes, I am weird!) I just put them on the back of the closet shelf when they are too worn out to be worn in public. Sometimes I wear the ratty ones while doing housework. (So I don't wear those very often:-)

    I once had a dress I loved so much that I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it when it was old and worn out. I cut it into strips and used the strips as cleaning rags. When the rags began to fall apart, I decided that the dress had served me well for many years, and I was able to dispose of it!

    DebRo

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  16. I have tee shirts from my trips and one that my deceased aunt gave me. Not only do they bring back memories but I still wear them. I have gotten rid of some that got holes in them or got too small.

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  17. Hank, dear Hank. Those are not tee shirts. Those are memories! Tee shirts are those things you wear on camping trips, or that one you wear for really grimy cleaning jobs like the basement junk corner or the attic. That said, what you also have is the foder for some many wonderful stories. Please hang on to them.

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  18. I think you should wear them, especially if they bring back special memories. Wouldn't it be nice to put one on & think about those special events?

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  19. Hank, if you are not going to wear these t-shirts, have you thought about creating a quilt of all these t-shirts?

    This is a tough question. What cannot I bear to throw away? Books. I donate many books to the library. I'm so glad I kept the Dutchman mysteries because it is out of print now. I have several books that are no longer in bookshops nor in libraries so I am glad I kept them.

    Diana

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  20. I'd voting for sorting through those that aren't that precious and hang on to the rest. My brother-in-law just retired from 28 years teaching and coaching girls volleyball. The retirement party was held at a community center and the chairs were covered with t-shirts from his career. Everyone loved looking over the collection! You could save these for a special birthday and give a little description of what was going on in your life at the time - share your experiences and memories!

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  21. I have T-Shirts sitting on my floor that I know I shouldn't wear in public any more, but I can't let me throw them away. And I have so many T-Shirts it takes me at least a month to go through all the ones I still wear. I get them at the runs I do, but I truly don't need any more.

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  22. Loved the comments and am glad you retrieved the blog. As a retired PO, while I love the quilt idea, I don’t know your level of commitment to a project such as that, not to mention cost. I would offer photos as a good memory. Then you have a way to an album (great gift), slide show, or even a continuous blog with photos and a back story. Keep the ones with the most compelling memories, donate any that might appeal to others (the Stones or sports) and give the rest to a local NfP. Good luck

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  23. Sorry about the technology mess. My comment was similar to Jay's - I can't imagine Hank in a T-shirt! It makes more sense that you only wear them at home.

    And I've done similar purges. =)

    Mary/Liz

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  24. Thanks for sharing your secret! Here's my (certified professional organizer) take:

    1) These aren't "t-shirts" to you; they are a 3-D professional journal of yours. When you're thinking of them as clothing you don't wear but can't part with (because, "After all, I'm not wearing them, so why would Ikeep them?") you're confusing the role they play in your memory.

    2) T-Shirt quilts are great. I've made them myself. But they're also great when you plan to USE them, not just have them folded away in a closet or a chest. All you've done at that point is changed the way in which they get ignored.

    3) What may matter to you is the memory that the image triggers for you. You might consider having them professionally photographed... or having YOU WEARING THEM professionally photographed, and then you can do something with the photos. A coffee table book for yourself, where on one side there is a picture of you and the shirt, and the other side is the story about the shirt, or how you came to have it?

    4) You could also alter them so that they are no longer shirts, but you cut out the graphics and mount them onto scrapbook paper, and you could do the same storyline as above. It is the STORIES of these shirts, not the shirts themselves, which you're connected to, right?

    5) Finally... check in with yourself about why it even matters what you do with these things. If you have the room and they're not in your way of living life the way you want to live it, why is this bag bothering you? Is it because you pride yourself on not being attached to items, and yet the existing of this bag challenges your sense of identity? "I'm someone who lets go of things easily and yet...." This is why I encourage you to stop thinking of them as clothes and think of them as professional souvenirs.

    Good luck, and thanks for sharing your story!

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