Tuesday, July 3, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 3 Article of Clothing

Linking up with Sar for Day 3 of the 15-Day Challenge!

[3] Tell about an article of clothing that you're deeply attached to

I'm not really attached to any particular article of clothing, but I am deeply attached to the memories of a couple of different items. One of my all-time favorite memories is based on a set of T-shirts, and involved a huge party with a great group of family and friends.

Back in 1990, Seattle hosted the Goodwill Games, and we decided to use that as the theme for our summer party. My family hosted the Port Orchard Goodwill Games, or POGG, for three years in the early 90s. We invited family and friends to come join us for a fun day of "athletic" events. This is the invitation we sent out:

We greeted friends dressed in our "official" T-shirts. My husband was the Official Host, I was the Organizing Committee, son Scott was the Rules Committee and daughter Sarah was the Official Scorekeeper. We even updated the shirts each year we had the party; note the shirt sleeves: 1990, 1992 & 1993.


As friends arrived, each family member drew a card to determine their team placement. Yes, we encouraged family members to compete against each other, and it worked very well! That first year we had teams representing four countries: Madagascar, Sierra-Leone, Andorra and Gambia. I don't recall how we initially chose those countries, but I imagine it had something to do with how easily we could replicate their flag. All team members wore the flag of the country they represented. Team members and team standings were listed on large posters stapled to the neighbor's fence.

POGG offered volleyball as the only team event, but there were a number of individual events, too, including: basketball (shooting for points from spots marked on the court), ping-pong, egg toss, catching a water balloon shot from a sling shot, water spoon relay race, shooting helium-filled balloons with a Nerf bow and arrow (with a pin on arrow), watermelon seed-spitting contest and others. (We used Nickelodeon's "Wild & Crazy Kids" game show for inspiration) Prizes were awarded for both individual events and for the overall teams. First place winners were awarded chocolate gold-foiled coins, second place winners received silver-foiled York peppermint patties, and third place winners received bronze-looking Reese's peanut butter cups. We must have had a fourth place team prize, but I don't recall what it was.

One year we relocated the volleyball game from our yard to an adjoining neighbor's yard. Our great neighbor specifically cut the grass on the volleyball court shorter to define the court area! That year it rained badly during the POGG, which did not deter us in the least! A neighbor provided a parachute to keep the ping pong table dry. My clothes dryer ran almost constantly that day as athletes sought relief from the torrential downpour and dried their soaked clothes before heading back outside to continue the competition.

I don't know if I've described these games very well. Just know that our family had a wonderful time planning the games, and hopefully our family and friends enjoyed themselves as well. I keep the POGG T-shirts in my closet; I don't have the heart to get rid of them. Every time I see them, it warms my heart and reminds me of the great times we had (and still have!) together as a family.

My wonderful sister, Heide, and her family created the Goodwill Gazette after that first party. She wrote some excellent copy, her kids contributed a cartoon or two and her husband, Ed, took some great pictures. Here's the cover page of that publication:

I'll probably keep those T-shirts forever!

What article of clothing warms your heart?



  1. Wow, great story! That sounds like it was so much fun, and the t-shirts are great mementos from the games!

  2. Oh my goodness, all of that is so awesome! I'm impressed with the tshirts and the gazette. :)

  3. 1-2-3-4, We're the team from Equador!

  4. Boy we had fun at those parties! A real treat for the whole family, with games set for all ages and skill levels. You guys sure know how to throw a party! We musn't forget the watermelon seed spitting contest; I practiced spitting seeds all "off-season" and never came close to winning even the Bronze. Maybe because I have such a small mouth... Thanks for saving The Goodwill Gazette. It was fun seeing all of our contributions (the last cartoon on the copy you emailed me was drawn & written by Katie at age 8) and Ed got a kick out of seeing a product of our old Mannesmann Tally dot-matrix printer. Yes, those t-shirts carry lots of memories for many people -- can't get over how small Sarah's shirt is. She was a young squirt way back then.

    1. Holy moly, I don't remember the 1990 games, but I remember the '92 and '93 POGG. I laughed throughout this whole blog post, and Aunt Heide, this is the first time I've seen the Goodwill Gazette--and it's fantastic.

      Mom, I love this! I thought you were going to talk about your Diamond Duster old sweatshirt, or the glitter penned dance sweatshirt from all the years I was in dance. Fantastic.

  5. I remember participating in something like that and maybe I was with your little sister Mary. My son Derek and Rosemary are the same age but I honestly don't remember if I was there or another party like that. I remember we had a fun time and I used the same concept for a birthday party for Derek.