Off My Back

Nov 19, 2010

I’ve raved about Ellen’s Silkscreening before — and I must add, that since then I have had the pleasure of hanging out with Ellen Daigle (the Ellen behind Ellen’s,) and she is as cool as her shop.

This sign on her store window got me to thinking about T-shirts, and how they really do tell stories. When I look through my own T-shirt drawer it’s like a scrapbook of my past. There are the well-worn Solidarność and Divest Now! shirts from my picket line walking, sign waving college years. There’s one from The Who’s farewell tour in 1983. My high school boyfriend and I went to Dallas to see that one. Sadly, we had to sit through the opening act of Billy Squire. Then, there’s yet another shirt from yet another Who farewell tour in 2000. That one was at the Hollywood Bowl. I had box seats — a perk from clients still flush from the boom years.

There are all the ones from so many other concerts, they could be the wearable liner notes from the soundtrack of my youth: REM, U2, Guns and Roses, The Smiths, The The, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Tori Amos, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Coldplay. There are all the snarky ones that say things like “Will Write for Food” and “Read a %^$&ing Book!” There’s the one with a picture of Tinkerbell and the word “believe” almost completely worn away. (But I still know it’s there.) There’s my old orange Lifeguard tank top. There’s the charity red one from the Gap a few years ago that says Inspi(red). There’s one I love to wear when I’m hanging out with my husband because it says “I love my geek.” There’s the 1980 “Reelect Carter” shirt I wore when I was too young to vote but I bribed my 18 year old friend Marty to vote against Reagan. There’s my “Friend of Bill” shirt from Clinton’s second term. Then, there’s the one with Nader’s name on it. And finally the one that says “Apathy, Apathy, that’s our cry, A P A… oh, whatever.”

There are several with Little Bit’s picture.

There’s one Jon made for me that has “Sweetiepea” embroidered on it. There’s another one he gave me with the famous portrait of Che Guevara. And then there is my personal favorite — one worn on many nights with ratty PJ pants — a pink t-shirt with a picture of Pussyfoot, my very favorite Looney Tunes character.

There’s one missing from my drawer, one I never should have let my friend Machaela borrow back in 7th grade … the Frampton Comes Alive concert T-shirt with 3/4 baseball jersey sleeves. (She never gave it back. I’m still not over it.)

What about you? Do your shirts tell your story? If so, what do they say?

Read the Full Story at Glimpses of South Pasadena



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