I’d give you the shirt off my back

… except these.

I'm not into stuff. As a nomad, I'm content with the few things I truly love or need … that which I'd save in a fire … those things that fit into the saddlebags of my Subaru, my modern-day horse:

Swiss army knife (from Switzerland)
items and papers of sentiment
black T-shirt collection

Black T-shirt collection?

Yup. My black T-shirt collection is as dear to me as any collection could be.

It's some 25 years in the making and to illustrate how tough entry is, there are only 15 members. That's about one every two years.

Dare not assume that every black T-shirt gains entry simply by virtue of its color. Oh no! I don't play politics and vehemently shun PC shit. Entry is based on intangibles known only to me and the recognition of whether a shirt's in is instantaneous.

Once a shirt's in, it's in for life. Only once has a once been "demoted" for various reasons including having been worn at that dreadful hated warehouse job. No shirt could shed that taint, neither its membership. Thus my Cowboy Junkies shirt remains loosely in the circle, sidelined from normal wear and donned for tasks/work.

Each shirt has a history and each a story. You won't hear 'em, they're none of your damn business! There'll be no airing of dirty purest laundry here.

Speaking of laundry, these shirts are washed by machine but not dried unless I suffer a lapse of attention, fortunately rare. They're dried on hangers to preserve their size, colors, character and longevity.

As of last week, there's a new face in the bunch. Dave's Killer Bread. I've blogged on this AMAZING bread, a resounding endorsement indeed from this not-a-breads person.

I rarely seek out the black T-shirts. They find me. Or we find each other. Call it mojo. Call it destiny. Call it the flow of the universe. Call it passion. It works. And Dave's shirt was no exception.

Dave's recently had a roadshow at Costco where I had the fortuitous opportunity to meet one of the cast from the plant (in Oregon). I gushed on and on about their breads. "I'd give you a shirt but I'm out," he says. "Get in touch with so-and-so and we'll send you one."


It is now my pleasure and honor to introduce the members of my black T-shirt collection (save for one too personal to post). Each shirt is loved and held by the heart, worn with affection and appreciation; each is cherished for its story and itself.

My black T-shirt collection.

Australian Aboriginal Dot Art




Introvert (with accidental bleach stain)

Jonny Lang


Wormy Dog Saloon

Ukiyoe — the white on the face and garb on the back has washed off from this shirt circa 1990.

Tom Sawyer — not for the musical but loving affinity with Huck Finn, Tom and Twain.


Neil Young

John Lennon – pretty threadbare, faded and worn with care.

Rolling Stones — the oldest of the bunch, quite threadbare and faded, worn only on special occasions, laundered in a net zippered bag for delicates or by hand.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The shirts I wouldn’t give you off my back. « Barefoot Blogger
  2. joe
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:08:30

    My favorite is the introvert.


  3. Trackback: Dave’s Killer Bread is a slice of paradise. « Barefoot Blogger

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