I’ll never forget the one that got away. She was my first love, but I came to neglect her, and I’m a fool for letting her go. I’m talking, of course, about a T-shirt: light-blue, size small, with an illustration of a fleet of Thistles running toward a leeward mark before a dramatic sunset. She was a hand-me-down from my sister, purchased at the class’s 1986 national championship in Pensacola, Fla. She already bore a few spaghetti stains when I inherited her, and by the time I tossed her into my dad’s rag pile as a teenager, having long outgrown her, my favorite T-shirt was translucent and riddled with holes. She may have lived on to polish a few Ford vans, but I never saw her again.
Browsing the Thistle class’s Bagpipe publication recently, a familiar face caught my eye. Joyce Gustavson had contributed a story with a photo of the quilt she made for class legend Elmer Richards, composed of his favorite regatta T-shirts. There in the top row was the Pensacola T-shirt, my old flame. All the old memories came rushing back, and I kicked myself for losing her. How wise of Elmer and Joyce to preserve these cotton treasures.
Are you thinking about your first love? Did you cherish her like Elmer, or forsake her like me? Whatever the case, we want to know. This month, our Facebook page becomes the Regatta T-Shirt Hall of Fame. Post photos of your favorite Ts on our wall, and tell us why you fell in love. Team One Newport is offering prizes for oldest, rattiest, coolest, and dorkiest T-shirt. But it’s not about the spoils; it’s about giving your sweetheart her moment in the sun.
_We’ll name winners in four T-shirt categories (oldest, rattiest, coolest, dorkiest); each winner will receive a Team One Newport lid latch by Croakie and a __Team One Newport water bottle from Camelbak._