The purchase of a T-shirt about a month ago left me touched with some regret.
I was on the way to Kansas when I wheeled off Interstate 17 at Camp Verde for breakfast. A waitress at Denny’s was wearing a blue T-shirt that caught my eye.
The shirt was designed to memorialize the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives two weeks earlier fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire. The waitress said the shirts were produced by a photo shop in Sedona, Arizona. Someone else at the restaurant was handling the sales. I plunked down a $20 bill, left my name and phone number, saying I’d pick up the shirt on my return trip in about 10 days.
The more I thought about it as I drove off, the more I stewed.
Although I was told the profits of the T-shirt sales would go to the families of the dead firefighters, I did not know that for sure. Was I supporting someone who was profiting off of the dead? How do you know for certain? I thought of calling the Sedona store to ask. But would I be told the truth?
A few days ago, I made a special trip up to Camp Verde to retrieve the T-shirt. It was waiting on me, and again I was told, this time by the Denny’s manager, that, yes, proceeds go to the families.
I brought the T-shirt home and put it in a drawer. It will eventually end up wrapped in plastic and placed in my storage unit. Unless I hear that the sale was a rip-off of these 19 guys on Yarnell Hill.
In that case, I will probably take the shirt out and burn it.