Posted by Mario
I remember the day when I finally received my letterman jacket as a senior in high school. I already had the letter for the jacket as I played football as a freshman. However, I didn’t play any sports my sophomore & junior years due to an injury that lasted 2 years (a tale I’ll share in an upcoming blog).
It was a long journey and I remember feeling very happy to finally put my hands on the jacket. Back in the day the school issued us our jackets at the awards banquet, which was held at the end of the school year. That didn’t leave me a lot of days at all to wear my fancy new jacket. In fact, I only remember wearing my jacket one or two times. One of them was during the last weeks of my senior year for this grainy picture. Man, cameras sure have come a long way!
Once I graduated from high school, I never wore it again (who does?) and left it at my mom’s house. I actually forgot all about my jacket until my sister told me earlier this year that her son/my nephew, Joshua, wanted to wear it. He is a junior and goes to the same high school that my father, my 2 older brothers, and I went to, Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas, an all boy’s school founded in 1925. I love that school and all it’s traditions and still go back for our class reunions, with last year being the memorable 30 year reunion (another tale for an upcoming blog).
My nephew Joshua is a really good baseball player and I’m not just saying that because he’s my nephew. He received a letter as a freshman and bars & pins as a sophomore and has always played on the varsity. When my mom was at the awards banquets when he received his letter and pins, she noticed that the students weren’t given jackets (students have to buy their own jackets now). So the next time Josh went to visit my mom, she went to her closet and pulled out my jacket, which coincidently, fit him perfectly.
When my sister called me and asked if Josh could use my jacket, I immediately said yes. She mentioned that it was perfect for him and my jacket was a clean slate; I never had the letter sewn on my jacket which left plenty of room for his sports patches. And I couldn’t think of a better person to have my jacket as he would be wearing and carrying on the family tradition.
I couldn’t wait to see what he’d do with the jacket. As I didn’t get the chance to personalize my jacket, I was happy he was able to revive my jacket and make it his own. And he did a great job of putting his own stamp on it.
I’m usually not very nostalgic but I have to admit that I’m very happy he decided to use my jacket vs. buying a new one. Little did I know that my long forgotten jacket would have a new purpose for a new generation. My nephew is proudly wearing his “new” letterman jacket that is 30 years old!
If you have any family traditions that have been passed down, or any family traditions you’re thinking of starting, Gail and I would love to read about them.