Item From the Past: The New Orleans Tee
Tucked away in a corner of a shelf in one of our bedroom closets is my tattered t-shirt collection. It features tees that I used to wear, but whose condition would make wearing them embarrassing now. Yet they have sentimental value, often as reminders of places I've seen, such as the one sporting the Hong Kong coat-of-arms, or the colorful Maui shirt, or the yellow shirt with black letters that say, "Eat, Drink and Be Merry, For Tomorrow You May Be in Utah."
Most prized of all is my New Orleans shirt. I acquired it shortly after the 1981 visit to that city that I mentioned on July 10. Kevin Middleton, one of my traveling companions, was on his way to becoming a graphic artist even then. After we got back, he designed and silkscreened five shirts with the same image to commemorate our visit. I think he kept two, and gave one each to the three other people on the trip.
This is mine. It's faded after three decades, and scanner doesn't really do it justice anyway.
Kevin is the central, Pan-like figure with pointy ears. Artist's prerogative, I figure. He's holding hands with Nancy at top, who is bald and has a mermaid's tail. To the right of Kevin is Tom, blindfolded and reaching for a bunch of grapes. I'm to the left, looking demented. It all suggests a bacchanal.
Spelled out at the bottom, in French, is "July Sixteenth to July Nineteenth, Nineteen Hundred Eighty-One."