local shirts

Three tee shirts from local businesses.

I’ve struggled with the term local as in buy local, shop local, eat local. When I lived in another town I used their local farmer’s market and first saw the sumptuous color poster of fruit, vegetable and a farm with the words Buy Local emblazoned across it. I asked the farmers staffing the table with the signs where they had the signs and wordmark done. It was done in Pittsburgh. I asked why, given that there were so many local designers and printers, they had it done so far away. They appeared confused and couldn’t tell me.

So when I saw a local drinking establishment offering a tee shirt that said “Drink local” I also looked to find where the tee shirts were made. They’d connected with a firm in Altoona, I was told. There are several local shops, I responded and they told me that if a local shop wanted to do their shirts they could get in touch. Well, I won’t buy their alcohol or their shirts.

But what is local? I think it’s different for everything. I guess my definition would be the closest suitable place that fills the need. So when Bonfatto’s and Happy Valley Tees got together to put out a tee shirt to raise funds for local businesses, I jumped on it.

And it’s beautiful. I’m not really a tee shirt guy, but I have a few. The Bonfatto’s shirt is a gorgeous salmon pink, very heavy, very soft, and so their logo shows when their staff wears an apron, it’s on the back. I might actually wear it with a sports jacket… But truth? True as this all is, it isn’t the reason for this post. See the Donut shirt? It’s actually my granddaughter’s. Dam Donuts was our favorite local business so I bought the shirt for her. She wouldn’t wear it.

“Grampop, people will think I’m trying to look like I work there!”

Okay. Whatever. I was disappointed until now. I’m uncomfortable that people would think I work at Bonfatto’s. Not that working there would be a bad thing. It’s just that I’ve worked in kitchens close to 20 years, none of them Bonfatto’s. Wearing the shirt would be like stealing valor.

I told my granddaughter the part about not wanting to wear the shirt because people would think I was trying to look like I worked there. She gave me a half smile, half smirk and nodded her head.