Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2017

Garage sale jacket gets grateful home

By Jeff Wilson, Ledger publisher | Mar 08, 2012

Laundry rooms are meant to have garbage cans.

Holes in socks and underwear, frayed shirt collars and threadbare pants knees all mean the inevitable time has come.

It’s never been that simple with me.

I’m getting better at discarding holy socks and underwear. It’s always been easier to let go of worn dress shirts and pants. My favorite casual things are my downfall.

Somewhere, I still have the threadbare, green and gold practice jersey I earned for making the Glenbrook North sophomore baseball team in 1968.

Then there is the black, Nike nylon pullover windbreaker the kids gave me for Christmas in the mid-1990s. Julie Johnston mended the front pouch after it was ripped playing football. The polyester collar and cuffs have been frayed for years. A Superglue spill never wore off.

A few softball seasons ago, I left it at the O.B. Nelson field. It was still there mid-morning the next day. The jacket is faded and no longer waterproof.

I’ve been trying to find one just like it without much success. Most windbreakers are now polyester blends. I gave up looking in stores and online. No one sells 1990s windbreakers.

I keep wearing the old one. It’s an extra large and fits nicely over a hooded sweatshirt or fleece jacket. It’s been to a World Series and special occasions, but now it’s worn only for workouts and weekend lounging.

So, a few of weeks ago, two women walked in The Ledger and in one of those “one in a million” moments, I noticed the older of the two was wearing my same, but newer looking, Nike black windbreaker.

I was going to say nothing and pass on an awkward opportunity to embarrass myself. But the words came out anyway.

“This is going to sound a little strange, but where did you get that jacket?” I said somewhat regretting my frankness.

The startled woman from Ollie blurted, “At a garage sale.”

I told her the whole story about having one just like it and searching high and low for a replacement. She nodded politely, a little stunned by my eccentricity. The women finished their business and were out the door.

Then about a week ago, the younger of the two came back in with a brown-paper wrapped package. I was on the phone. She waited instead of just dropping it off.

“No, I want to see his face when he opens it,” she said when Melanie offered to give it to me later.

There was the black jacket. The young woman smiled. I said thanks. I’m sure both of us were feeling pretty good about it all.

I put a thank-you note in the mail yesterday. Funny how things turn out.


Jeff Wilson is publisher of The Fairfield Ledger.

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