Our Legacy

THE LEGACY OF THE WHITE SHIRT

White-Shirt-Long before recycling was the “in” thing, I thought it was something you just did in order to survive. Take for instance, my dad’s white shirt.  Farm life was hard and there was not much money for “store-bought” things. Dad wore his white shirt to church every Sunday. When the collar began to get frayed my mother would unstitch it from the shirt, turn it over and sew it back on. Now it looked pretty good again except Mother washed it so often with her home made laundry soap it was no longer quite as white. After the collar was worn out again, Dad used it as a work shirt. No one cared if the collar looked worn.  When the white shirt got stained or there were too many holes to be patched, Mother would cut off the buttons to reuse and cut the shirt into cleaning rags and smaller pieces for “nose rags.”  When we needed to blow our nose, we would go to the top left hand drawer of her old treadle Singer sewing machine and get a white rag.  After a good blow, it was taken to the cook stove where it contributed to the fuel supply. The final use of the white shirt became part of the ashes from which my mom would make her laundry soap on an open fire in a big copper kettle so she could—you guessed it—wash Dad’s white shirt!  -  Clyde Seely

‘Legacy’ in Action
When it came time to demolish Three Bear Lodge after the fire, the principle of the “White Shirt” that I grew up with protected the historical and sentimental materials from being crushed and hauled to the land fill. Even though it was not known at the time what some of the items would be used for, because of the “Legacy of the White Shirt”, they were saved. I invite you to visit our historical displays throughout the Lodge to discover how and where these items were re-used – you have touched some already.  It is a pleasure to share this part of history and our lives with you.  – Clyde and Linda Seely