Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Embroidered Shirts and Seasons When We Were Kids


Looking back on the past there are many things I wish I had photos of.

When I was in seventh grade in Vidalia, Louisiana, 1974-1975 school year, for some reason, somewhat of a fad went around the school.

You know how kids are, they want to fit in, and though I never had this disease as bad as some, this was one fad I thought had potential.

The kids in my grade started buying work shirts, and having them embroidered with things. Patches too, but the key was some custom embroidery.

Sainted Mother was an incredible hand at sewing. All of our clothes as little kids, she made, and even as I grew older, she made many of my shirts. For herself, she would see a new style of skirt or something, head over to West Brothers or TG&Y and buy a sewing pattern and some material.

I absolutely despised the phrase, "I need to look for some material" because the stores that had material were about as boring as a ten year old boy could imagine. West Brothers at least had sporting goods so I could look at footballs and stuff, and TG&Y, I didn't mind going there because they had toys too and a good selection of plastic models.

I told Sainted Mother about the shirts everyone was wearing, and asked if she could do something like that.

Holy cow, I'd give $500 dollars for a few good photos of all the embroidery she did on that work shirt for me. She put stuff on the front pockets, on the sleeves, and on the back she embroidered a huge scorpion ('cause I'm a scorpio).

When she finished that puppy, I was some kind of proud to wear that. I can still picture her sitting and working on all of that embroidery. Each and every stitch by hand.

That shirt, or at least some pictures of it, are one of the things I wish I could have back. I was growing like crazy, and was only in the shirt for less than a year, but I'll never forget how proud I was of that thing, and I'll always be grateful to Sainted Mother for hunkering down and doing all of that detailed handiwork on it.

Just a basic blue denim type work shirt, but it was a doozy when Sainted Mother got through with it. I don't know what became of it. It seems like one of the things I would have put away and kept, but has become one of those things I have no idea what happened to it. Like many things in my life, I guess.

Thanks Ma, the memory is good though, even if I wasn't aware enough to put the shirt away when I outgrew it. I do appreciate all the hard work.

Seasons When We Were Kids

When you were a kid, did you and your friends have seasons? Not weather seasons because of the earth's travel around the sun, but marble season, top season, and things like that?

Thinking about Pat G., the guy I wrote about yesterday, got me reminiscing about the simple toys we used to play with.

During a school year, for a few weeks at a time, we'd all bring marbles, and at recess, we'd play marbles.

The same thing would be done with tops. Remember Duncan brand yo yo's? Well Duncan made tops too, and along with yo yo season, we'd have a few weeks of top season.

I had a normal Duncan top, but Big Brother had a Duncan double top. It was a normal size top, only hollow, and within was a perfectly sized smaller top to fit in there. You would put the smaller top within the larger one, wrap your string as normal, and when you threw the top, and it hit the ground, that jarring would make the smaller one pop out and spin beside the larger hollow one. I don't know why I never got one, I thought that was the coolest thing on earth when I saw it in action.

I always preferred a basic Duncan Imperial yo yo. Lots of kids liked the Duncan Butterfly yo yo's but I always was able to do better tricks with the Imperial. Remember having to switch the string from finger to finger with your yo yo because the one you were using became purple from lack of circulation? Good times.

I was a fairly mean marble shooter too. Behind my innocent chubby face lay the heart of a card sharp when it came to playing marbles for keeps. I hated to play against Lisa J. though, she was the only kid who could consistently beat me. Not only did I lose to a girl, but she knew she was the best on the school grounds and a requirement was playing with our GOOD marbles. When you beat her, you won some cool marbles, but I lost more to her than I won.

What do ten year olds play at school now? Sony PSPs, Nintendo's, ipods that cost more than almost all of my childhood Christmas toys put together?

Jeesh. I sound like a bitter 90 year old man. I don't begrudge kids their whiz-bang toys of today, but I can guaran-doggone-tee that they don't have as much fun as we used to.

Also, I've always thought it was too bad they didn't let us take sling shots to school when I was a kid. I loved those things. I can see why we couldn't, but still...


Hammer said...

All of the fads in my school involved being gay so I abstained.

All toys and gadgets were confiscated and never returned so everyone took up dipping snuff and smoking cigarettes instead ;)

Sindi1968 said...

You may sound like a 90 year old but.... I was thinking the same thing before you said it.
I read a great idea about clothes for kids as stuff like your shirts; some peiople save them and make quilts and pillows out of it. Wouldn't that be great to have?
I do not even think kids have recess any more. Just imagine how I am going to feel. I am now 40 and my son is 2 years old...... fun days ahead.

Babystepper said...

My school went through a yo-yo faze my junior and senior year. In fact, my husband won the senior high contest we had for chapel one day. My husband was also the one whose yo-yo string broke while he was playing with it on the stage during play practice. That yo-yo flew clear to the back of the auditorium and out into the main hall. Luckily it was evening, so no classes were disrupted. It was funny because my husband was the "everybody's-favorite-valedictorian-team-chaplain" kind of guy.

JAM said...

hammer, i understand. This was pretty wimpy too, but we all wore them as and overshirt over a t-shirt or something.

sindi, yep, it's all in front of you. I would love to have that shirt, something tangible that my Mom did for me.

babystepper, I'd like to have seen the "great yo yo throwing incident." I accidentally threw a bowling ball backwards like on movies and stuff once. Sent everyone scrambling.

Emily said...

Aw! Haha, that's so cute with the embroidered shirt story! Man, I love reading your little stories from way back. They're honestly so heartwarming =)

jack said...

I think most of the children like to have an embroidered short sleeve wind shirts as of there choice of color. And also they like to have logo or message on their T-shirts.It seems to very interesting when i had visited embroidered short sleeve wind shirts

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