One Degree of Separation

Every now and again I post the Second Serve logo on Nextdoor, the neighborhood rant site, to try and spread our mission. 

After posting last weekend I received an email from a guy named Buddy, who asked me to come over and take a look at some of his mother’s clothes. She passed away a while ago. He said his father had been holding on to them, but that he died recently, and now would be a good time to donate them.

We emailed and it turns out I knew Buddy’s father, from my church. Buddy’s father, when I met him several years ago, said he knew my father. 

Rhode Island is like this. I swear whenever I’m on a road trip and I see a Rhode Island license plate, I look over and fully expect to know the driver. One degree of separation. It’s the smallest state after all. 

At any rate, I went over to Buddy’s and we talked for a long time. He told me about his life and family and how he saw The Guess Who at Lupo’s-the old, old Lupo’s-when he was 25. Cool. 

Buddy told me the story of his mother, who was a Navy nurse in a hospital down in Quonset when she met his father, and they settled in Bristol and then Providence. Buddy still had her long pea coat, which is magnificent. Turns out his mother died of dementia, like mine. 

He showed me her clothes and I selected a few things from her “Western phase”. Western is not exactly the Second Serve vibe, but I couldn’t refuse these vintage pieces:

Channeling my inner Teddy Roosevelt in this Roughrider shirt!
Adobe Rose shirt, a brand I don't know from the 80s-90s, my bailiwick! I definitely need to brush up.

 I love this Shyanne logo on the pocket of this plaid shirt.

I wonder how Buddy’s mom got into a “Western phase”, and where she wore these things. I forgot to ask. The next time I talk to Buddy I will see if he knows. 

There are stories in our clothes, and meaning. The act of donating clothing is the opportunity to start another story, an epilogue to the original. Or maybe it’s just the next chapter. Either way donating propels the story, and the next owner gets to share in the life and times of real people and real history. 

Clothing can be one degree of separation too. Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to track all of our clothing and the previous owners? Future owners? You might end up meeting new people! Making new friends! Unless you live in Rhode Island and it turns out you already know them anyway. Or work with their sister. Or went to college with their brother's best friend. 

Of course this assumes we are all buying resale. We all will, someday, if Second Serve has anything to say about it.

Thank you for the donations Buddy. I'm happy to know you!

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