Wake Forest 27587 Magazine

Summer 2018

The quarterly 27587 MAGAZINE is a must-read, in-you-hands publication that strives to give a deeper identity to rapidly growing Wake Forest, N.C. It highlights in-depth stories, targeting higher-income households.

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Page 28 of 76

28 Summer 2018 | Wake Forest 27587 Magazine PHILIP M. READ Next to the hot sauce and other luncheonette condiments, Shorty's Famous T-shirts are prominently displayed in an eatery that sells hundreds each year. "The girls obviously love pink," said proprietor Chris Joyner. Consider "Backfin's Crabhouse," whose souvenir tee sports the image of one crustacean holding a mug of foamy beer. "People wear our shirts everywhere. It is a souvenir T-shirt, and we sell out of them super fast," said Dawn Jenkins, whose husband, John, is one of the destination's owners and who can be found waiting tables from time to time. e Backfins tee has even been spotted at international airports, a testament to the power of an item labeled "a bumper sticker for your torso." "ey say I just saw one, and they're in the airport!" Jenkins said of learning of one such sighting. ey're apparently hot sellers, too, at "Charron's," a "Friendly Family Deli" with New York roots but now in downtown Youngsville, where Sue Charron notes that purchasers who come from such places as Ohio and Michigan have a somewhat unique motivation to buy: the Charron surname."ey're not related to us, but they have the same last name," she said. e souvenir tees are seemingly everywhere, from florists to book stores and beyond. In Rolesville, "Off the Hook Seafood Restaurant" captures a catchy phrase on its brightly colored tees, "One Year Hooked on You," to mark its anniversary. At "McLean's Ole Time Café," which dates to 1956 and where waitresses are fond of warmly addressing the customers as "dear," the souvenir tees — followed by glasses and decals and hats — only emerged about 8 years ago, said Cindi Wood, a manager. "It's mostly women," she said of the souvenir buyers. "I don't know why that would be." At "Shorty's Famous Hot Dogs, a landmark Wake Forest luncheonette dating to 1916, proprietor Chris Joyner has the pulse on who likes what among the T-shirt- wearing masses. "e girls obviously love pink," said Joyner, who estimates he sells 400 to 500 of the Shorty tees a year. So what is this fascination with the once lowly T-shirt, whose popularity as recently as 2016 led UNC-Chapel Hill's prestigious Wilson Library to launch an online UNC T-Shirt Archive to memorialize such undergraduate Tar Heel sentiments as "KENAN STADIUM RESTROOM ATTENDANT" and "Beer's Good for You." To truly understand the phenomenon, look no further than Dierdre Clemente, an assistant professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas whose "bread and butter as a scholar is the 'why' and 'when' our sartorial standards went from collared to comfortable." "So many chatty T-shirts," said Clemente, whose writings on the subject have appeared in Time Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post. e origins, she said, reach back to the gym wear of college campuses and the initial resistance of administrators who forbid them in dining halls until the 1960s "cultural flashpoint" that heralded the age of the T-shirt as "a staple of the American wardrobe." e Hard Rock Café ultimately pushed the T-shirt limits. "Hard Rock ... changed America's relationship with T-shirts because it showed that T-shirts could be an absolute commodity," said Clemente, who in 2013 curiously was a costume consultant for the film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel "e Great Gatsby." Back in downtown Wake Forest, Tim Forrest oversees a wealth of Tar Heel State products at the North Carolina General Store, a destination for N.C. souvenirs, not the least of which is the artwork of his father, Nathan. Here, you'll find T-shirts to be sure, such as "N.C. State of Mind." ere's none, however, for the store itself, something Tim Forrest might soon correct. "I've been wanting to make shirts with our logo," he said.

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