I’ve been neglecting the laundry so, yesterday, I was forced to dig into the “things I never wear” layer of my dresser. When I say I never wear something, I’m not kidding, because this 32-year-old sweatshirt from my graduation from Columbia University looks brand-new!
I’ve never been a fan of gray sweatshirts. They’re too drab and utilitarian. There are very few pictures of me wearing them. One was taken at Disney World in the mid-1970s. (Check out the Dorothy Hamill haircut!)
Then there are these two photos from a chilly trip to Paris immediately after my college graduation in the early summer of 1989.
I was surprised to see that the sweatshirt in the Paris photos isn’t the one I still have. I don’t remember if I borrowed that other one from a friend, or if it is something I got rid of long ago. I definitely considered purging the 1989 sweatshirt many times, but I have a weakness for clothing with dates on it. When you’re as into slow fashion and homegrown vintage as I am, clothing that is literally dated is highly desirable.
Now, after all this time, I kinda love the Columbia sweartshirt because its pristine condition strikes me as highlarious. So maybe I’ll wear it even when the laundry’s been done.
The big excitement at my graduation ceremony was the protest banner created by Laura Hotchkiss Brown that briefly added the names of seven great female authors — Sappho, Marie de France, Christine de Pizan, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Bronte, Dickinson, and Woolf — to the facade of Butler Library, above the inscribed names of eight important male thinkers. Campus security detained Brown and her four comrades and removed the banner. Later the school administration adopted the banner concept as a collaborative art project, though I’m not sure it ever took the criticism to heart.
CLICK FOR MY 2014 POST ABOUT THE BANNER.
On graduation day, I appreciated the activism but I wasn’t part of it myself.
It took me another 28 years before I started spending quality time with protest banners, like this one I helped my friends from Rise and Resist hang over the West Side Highway last month.
Of course, we knew that Trump’s impeachment wasn’t going to lead to conviction, because that what happens when a “jury” is packed with your co-conspirators. But, as Rise and Resist member Raymond Diskin Black wrote, “He was acquitted but history will show the truth, including that we stood on that overpass this afternoon with our banner reading CONVICT TRUMP.” Fascism continues to gain strength due to the lack of consequences in the Senate, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up the fight. We must “be strong and of good courage,” as Auschwitz activist Róża Robota said in 1945 … and we fight on.