When I went to school at The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, I got a job during my third year at Sam’s Club in nearby Appleton. I needed the money and eventually I took a year off and was simply working there. During that year off, Sam’s Club went into partnership with Goodwill – I’m not exactly sure what that partnership was, but it resulted in them handing out sweatshirts to those who wanted to wear them at work.

I was all over that. That meant I could be wear something warm at work without concern for what I may get on it. I wore the hell out of it, every chance I could. Sometimes I wore it to work freshly washed. Sometimes, well, not so much.

Eventually I moved to Milwaukee to finish school at MATC. I was lucky enough to take my Sam’s Club job to the Milwaukee area, where I got a job working on the floor and driving forklift at the West Allis Sam’s Club. The sweatshirt was not something approved by this different location, but luckily they let me wear it down there as well, which I did for several years.

Eventually I finished school, got an 8 to 5 job, and didn’t wear the Sam’s Club / Goodwill sweatshirt anymore – but I couldn’t part with it. Why? I don’t know. It certainly wasn’t attractive, or worth money. I guess it was just a physical representation of the many hours I put in at that job, and I saw it on my closet shelf from time to time and was reminded of the good times, bad times, and great coworkers in Appleton and ‘Stallis.

But it was time to get rid of it, and getting rid of it not only felt good, but felt like finally closing a chapter.