by TeAnna, Exhibits Intern
Back at my parent’s house, you can find a grey, one gallon storage tub in the attic. This tub is essentially a cloth time capsule of my childhood. Every soccer, basketball and softball jersey, t-shirts commemorating the different camps I attended, my collection of dance shirts and costumes that started accumulating when I joined my high school’s dance team. There are even some fundraising shirts from both high school and middle school, as well as the community. If my grandchildren ever stumble across this dusty tub, I wonder what they would think? Would Doernbechers’ Kids Making Miracles fund-raising program still exist? Or would my five shirts, of different sizes and colors, no longer have any significance? I would hope that at least one of my future grandchildren would have the same curiosity as I have, and research the background of these shirts and the rest of the tub.
So what happens when children or grandchildren find commemorative clothing, such as a sports jersey or baseball cap? Well, in some cases they end up in the local archives, such as the Willamette Heritage Center. Sometimes, the original owners donate the clothing articles themselves, either for fear that they will eventually get tossed out, or because they do not know what to do with them anymore. Believe it or not, these clothing articles that seem to no longer hold a purpose, are actually preserved historical artifacts.