When winter weather comes around, and I’m out and about, rubbing elbows with the hoi polloi, I often receive compliments from young people when they notice my rad winter scarf hanging around my neck. I say, “Thank you!”. Then I add, “It’s older than you”. That comeback provokes laughter, bemusement or disbelief. But it’s true. My former girlfriend from way, way back — Susan Cicotte — gave it to me for Christmas in 1982.
I suppose most folks would get a new scarf every year or two; but I’m the type of guy who, when he comes across something he likes, he keeps it. Now, if the scarf was threadbare, ratty looking, or smelly, from all the years of me wearing it, then I would toss it. But it still looks good, feels good, smells good. Amazingly, it never ages. It just keeps going.
Apparently, my scarf was made of an amazing 1980’s fabric. The faded label says it’s comprised of 100% acrylic. — I laughingly tell people that my parents wrapped me in the long, indestructible garment before placing me in the pod, when they sent me to this planet.
Actually, I grew up in Yakima, WA, where it truly gets cold. Really cold. Seattle winters are nothing compared to Yakima winters. I don’t even need to wear my scarf. I just wear it for looks.
What makes my scarf stand out, besides its longevity, is its design, which features musical notes on a staff, superimposed on a grey background. Since I’m a dyed-in-the-wool musician, Susan must have thought it would be the perfect gift for me. And it was. I doubt she expected me to be sporting it 33 years later, but I am. And I haven’t seen Susan in over 25 years. – Hi, Susan! How ya doin’? Thanks for the rad scarf.
Folks often ask me what song the notes on my scarf represent. I usually consider who is asking, before I answer. Because I love to make things up. (Don’t worry! Nearly every word of this story is true!) — I told some punk rockers it was the Sex Pistols’ “God Save The Queen”. They were so impressed! On a January trip to Montana a few years ago, I told a rancher it was Roy Rogers and Dale Evans’ “Happy Trails To You”. Recently, I told a pretty young woman it was Adelle’s “Hello”.
Not long ago, because I too, wondered what the notes on my scarf would play, I sat down at a keyboard and played them. — I had always wondered about it. But I didn’t learn how to read music when I was young, because the Beatles said it was stupid to learn to read music. I finally took a basic course in reading music at my local community college, because recently, I had a nagging thought: what if the Beatles were wrong? Anyway, I sat down at a keyboard, played the notes, and was delighted to find out that my rad scarf is emblazoned with the introduction to “Stairway To Heaven”!
There’s a lady, who knows….
Amazingly, I’ve had my rad scarf for exactly half my life.