Faded photographs, covered now with lines and creases. Tickets torn in half, memories in bits and pieces. Traces of love . . . (and the music fades).
On top of the entertainment center is a teddy bear. Unlike most of my bears, I haven’t given him a name. He sits apart from the others and reminds me periodically how much fun it is to climb outside the box.
He’s wearing a t-shirt that has “Brian Wood All-State Tenor” on an iron on patch on the front. There’s a button stuck to the t-shirt that says the “All-State Tenor”. And a medallion hanging from his neck that says “Mighty Maroon Award” in the middle of it.
The bear is from a concert I attended during my son Brian’s high school career. I wanted a memento of the day, because it was quite an honor for him to have performed in the All-State chorus. I browsed through the options they offered. You could buy a long sleeved t shirt with your child’s name and position ironed onto the upper part of the sleeve. You could buy a teddy bear with one of a number of generic “All-State” patches ironed on it.
I kept looking but didn’t find anything that would work for me. I wanted it to be personalized – they had the patches with the names of the participants on them already made. But I knew Brian would never wear the long sleeved t-shirt.
I looked at the patch with his name on it. Then I remembered the teddy bear that you could get with a generic patch ironed on the t-shirt. And then I asked, “What I’d really like to do is just buy this patch and then have them put it on the teddy bear’s t-shirt. Is there any reason I can’t do that? And what would it cost?”
Surprised by my request, they contemplated what they would charge me just for the patch. Then I asked the same question of the person selling teddy bears. Both of the vendors were surprised at first, and then intrigued.
When it was all said and done, I had a teddy bear that was wearing a Brian Wood All-State TenorI t-shirt. And the folks selling t-shirts and bears had a new marketing idea. The teddy bear hasn’t gone the way of the t-shirts and other awards of his youth. He still sits around to remind me to be proud of my son’s accomplishments. Sometime later the mighty maroon award was added. I smile whenever I glance his way – proud of my son as well as myself.