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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bandanas

I don't see many people wearing bandannas anymore, aside from TV bad guys and some reality TV show teams wanting to show-off one thing or another that doesn't really exist outside the hype.

Nonetheless, I've made use of bandannas since back in the early 70s. I wore sandals and bandannas. Think of it as a hippy-wannabe thing.

This means I have bandannas from over the decades collected. For the last several years, I didn't much use them because I didn't much do things that made me sweat, but now with a better class of NSAID available and, yes, better shoes, we're making a comeback.

Of course, I can already hear the chorus of naysayers regarding the lack of fashion, and Planet Fitness explicitly bars bandannas as headwear. So do several local bars. This is apparently an effort to keep out gangs. Me? A gang member? Can you imagine?

Yes, I still take a bandanna to the gym. It's just in my pocket, but I need something there to mop sweat, and it's not like I'm going to hump that treadmill with a thin white towel wrapped about my neck.

Here are the regular bandannas. Blue and red.


Just like Jethro and Ellie May might have used.

A few others in the drawer have a bit of different history.


Someone else will need to figure what the software needed to rotate it 90 degrees. One day, I hope coders can make smart code that actually has a lick of sense.

Meanwhile, that one is from a trip to California the children took with the ex-spousal unit. I still picture that moment in the gift shop when the ex asked if they thought Dad might like a new bandanna, and their heads bobbed in agreement. OK, I doubt that actually happened, but it's better than anything else, and I'm staying with it.

These are from Goodwill.


Notice that one was originally sold under the Gap brand. I can only imagine how much someone overpaid for that bandanna.

Now, brace yourself.


The black one is from the Army Surplus store in Greensboro, North Carolina. I retain it even if it is fairly poor in quality. The cloth is thin and hardly absorbent at all. I keep it for no reason other than it's there, and I have no reason to toss it in the trash.

The white one I received during my participation in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). No, I do not know what someone there was thinking when it was decided to give corporate executives a commemorative bandanna. I'm sure they all made quite the fashion statement in the corporate boardrooms. Of course, I used mine as God intended: To mop sweat.

Last year during the summer, I was out for a long walk on a Sunday morning. As I passed a copse of woods near one of the NCSU buildings, a recognizable and undeniable cramp hit. I ducked into the woods and attended to the cramp, leaving my bandanna as a matter of necessity. Yes, it was the white CCL bandanna.

I was a bit sad at losing that one. Most of the others had far less history attached, but what's a poor boy to do out on a long walk on a hot morning with no convenient bathroom nearby? At least, it wasn't the one from California.

Fast forward two months into the fall. I'm walking the same route, not even thinking about the bandanna. By the side of the street, I see a flash of white. Upon further inspection, I see that it's the CCL bandanna, grey from the weather and abuse, neatly folded, laying outside the copse, apparently waiting for my return.

You know what I did. I fetched it back, stashed it in my pocket, bleached the stains (mostly) out, and run it thorough the washer in hot water. I believe we call that "Laundered to EBay standards."

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