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MY HISTORIC BREAST

31 August 2002

I have rediscovered t-shirts. Now that I can not only squeeze into a size 1X but it actually fits like...well...like a t-shirt instead of a clingy evening dress, I've been checking the deep recesses of drawers that haven't been opened since Bush was president. The first Bush.

I've discovered a good part of my life history in the designs on the t-shirts I am now able to wear again.

tbvshirt.JPG (17572 bytes)This was all prompted by the wonderful Cafe Press, where I've designed a t-shirt for Funny the World (as well as recently one for Steve's show because I wanted one...not realizing that he was designing his own shirt for the show). I've also purchased shirts for The Last Session, BOOBS, and one of an oil painting done by my friend Alec Clayton.

However, the Cafe Press shirts are just the tip of the iceburg.

One of the oldest shirts is a Scott Family reunion shirt from the mid-80s. This was one of the first big family reunions, held in Quincy, CA, and it was notable for the fact that my cousin Dave got drunk and decided to throw everyone in the pool, including then-80 year old Aunt Marie. There were those who thought it was funny, and those who were less amused. Among the latter was our newly arrived Brasilian student who, over the three weeks he spent with us, never forgave us for the indignity of his having been thrown in the pool.

clintonshirt.JPG (15936 bytes)Another of the "old" shirts is a black shirt with a picture of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on it--this was sold in DC the weekend of Clinton's first inauguration and my friend Melody sent it to me.

I've lost count of the number of Lawsuit shirts I have. They are in all colors, including "that faggy aqua that K.C. likes so much." I think my favorite, though, is a black shirt with a red rose on it. It's from the "Thousand Red Roses concert," which was held shortly after David died as a fund-raiser for the Davis Art Center. Emotions were running very high that night and bounced back and forth between happy and sad. The saddest moment was when Paul looked up into the sky and dedicated a song to David. The happiest moment was when Walt snuck on stage to sing a solo and do a dive into the audience, into the waiting arms of Tom and his friends. It was the first (and only) timeI ever saw Paul struck speechless on stage.

There are the inevitable Wizard of Oz themed shirts--several designs with "Dorothy--hate you, hate Oz. Taking the shoes. Find your own way home. --Toto" I think I bought one and I've had two given to me as gifts--the nice thing is that they are each different designs. There is also the huge, ostentatious picture of ruby slippers on a black t-shirt I bought at the Smithsonian. And there is my recent acquisition--Judy Garland as Dorothy, which I bought at the Garland exhibit in Hollywood a couple of weeks ago.

I have a whole collection of Texas-related shirts, not all of which are actual Texas shirts. The year before I went to Texas, my friend Mike got me a Texas shirt for my birthday, and he gave me another one the year I stayed with him and his partner for a month. He also went out on that trip and bought me a Betty Boop shirt. He was so tickled with that shirt that I didn't dare tell him, when I looked at the "L" label that it wouldn't fit with a shoehorn. Instead, I went to the store where he bought it, discovered they had it in an XL size, and bought it for myself so I could wear it for him. He never knew that I went home with two Betty Boop shirts!

I drove from Houston to Austin with my friend Lynn and her husband. It was the height of wildflower season, especially bluebonnets. We took lots of pictures and I had to buy myself a wildflower shirt. In fact, I bought myself two--and a third shirt at the Ladybird Johnson wildflower park.

Of course there are theatre shirts--several from different shows at The Lamplighters, a few from the Davis Comic Opera Co. (including one from its recent 30th anniversary show), and one I bought in Buxton, England, when we traveled with The Lamplighters to the second International Gilbert & Sullivan festival (which The Lamplighters won).

There are the gay themed shirts--my PFLAG shirt (in "that faggy aqua color that K.C. likes so much"), and a shirt for each of the last two years I marched in the San Francisco pride parade.  I also have a shirt designed by my friend Gabi to remember her son's death and to promote safe schools for all kids.

Of course there are the chocolate shirts. David Gerrold and I have had this running fight about chocolate and so I bought a shirt to wear when I was meeting him once. It says "Will work for chocolate." Then I was in Sausalito once and saw shirts which were dyed with chocolate. Really. They were kind of a hot-cocoa color and they smelled of chocolate (the smell left after a couple of washings). I bought one for me and one for David and we wore them to the first (and only) Gerrold Forum meeting at Universal Studios several years ago.

emushirt.JPG (16819 bytes)I have a few shirts from Australia. Two with "Perth" on them and one--my favorite--with paw prints of different animals unique to Australia--like the frilled neck lizard and the emu (as well as the more popular kangaroo, koala and wombat).

And most recently, I find myself with an inordinate number of Steve-related shirts. There's the aforementioned Last Session shirt. There's another one for his new CD, "Beyond the Light." I bought a shirt when I saw Last Session in Baltimore and I now have the two shirts for his latest show, The Big Voice.

One shirt of which I'm very proud is my very own sporting event shirt--the red shirt I received after I did my first organized bike ride, the Bike for Hunger earlier this year.

There are a lot of chapters in my life which are not represented by t-shirts because I knew I couldn't wear them (I'm sorry I don't have an Orkney t-shirt, for example--how many people have t-shirts from Orkney??), but as I open drawers and blow the dust off of the contents, I realize that I can look back over the messages scrawled across my chest and read a moderately complete history of the high points in the past 20 years.


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Thank you for nominating my entry, Moving On for a DiaristNet award!

Quote of the Day

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.

--Hermann Goering

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One Year Ago
Media Frenzy
If one takes the media to task for overly in-depth coverage of human tragedy, the answer is always that the public has the right to know. The right to know what? Do I have a right to know what the dead body of a 3 year old massacred child looks like?

Two Years Ago
There's No Place Like Home
It’s funny how you move to a town as the new kid on the block and suddenly one day you look around and discover that you’re an old timer. When did it happen?


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