Let me tell you, they were in my hand. But my suitcase was too full. And I figured that the vision of me walking around in overalls on the Pepperdine campus might have pushed people a bit too far. I'm already working the long hair and tattoo. If I added wearing overalls I'm 100% confident the campus police would have picked me up. For no crime other than looking extraordinarily bizarre.
But now that I'm back home I was in overalls all day today. Good to be back in my ugly town. I fit right in here.
Why am I wearing overalls? What's the allure?
Here's what I think is going on.
As regular readers know I'm a bit of a Civil Rights movement freak. Along with David and Jennifer Dillman I've taken ACU students on a Freedom Ride through the south. I'm met Freedom Riders James Zwerg and Bernard Lafayette. Lafayette was also a leader of the Nashville sit-in movement and a founding member of SNCC. I've sang freedom songs with Hollis Watkins (video proof here), leader of Freedom Summer in Mississippi. I've walked the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma and sat at the dining room table of Martin Luther King, Jr..
And when you look at pictures of the Civil Rights activists from the '50s and '60s guess what they are wearing, particularly the activists who walked the dusty roads of Mississippi during Freedom Summer?
You guessed it.
I think Jana is convinced that I'm wearing overalls because I want to look like a Civil Rights worker from the 1960s. I disagree, of course, because that would be ridiculous. But then again...I am a bit ridiculous.
(Last week in a store I came across one of those plaques that have an inspirational saying on them for your home of office. I usually don't like the sayings, but this one caught my attention:
Imperfection is beauty,That's me. Absolutely ridiculous. But never boring.
madness is genius.
and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous
than absolutely boring.
BTW, I believe that quote is from Marilyn Monroe. And I think it's sort of awesome (and ridiculous) that I just quoted her as a fount of wisdom. It's a strange world.)
Why were those Freedom Summer kids wearing overalls? Some were just rural kids from the Deep South. But many of the city kids took to wearing overalls because as they walked from shack to shack during those hot and dangerous Mississippi days they found that if they were wearing overalls the rural folk were more welcoming, more at ease. And so many of the workers began wearing overalls to help with their voter registration efforts.
There is little doubt that all those photos of my heroes wearing overalls has affected me. Those overalls have an aura about them, a halo of heroism. Those Civil Rights workers have made me come to believe, I think unconsciously, that overalls are just really, really cool.
And so I wear them. Even if that makes me look a bit ridiculous.
Preach it, Marilyn Monroe, preach it.