Valentine’s Day, 1995. The wife and I were dining in an upscale restaurant in downtown Savannah. It was the sort of place that intimidated regular drive-thru consumers like us by presenting a variety of long-stemmed glasses on the table, subliminally suggesting that we purchase wine. We decided on the most expensive bottle so as not to look like the uncultured cretins we were. At this early stage of our lives, we were unaccustomed to food establishments that didn’t serve their poultry in nugget form. We had actually eaten at Wendy’s on our wedding day the previous year. It had been a happily lowbrow romance. But this was Valentine’s Day, after all, so splurging on the finer things was in order. What’s a little more crippling credit card debt when celebrating true love?
My brother was a man of vision, a man with a plan. Before his untimely demise, David Holt had announced new get-rich-quick schemes on a weekly basis, and almost all of them involved t-shirts. This made sense, seeing as he was a graphics guy. What made even more sense for Dave was to coerce his younger brother into creating the actual t-shirt designs, seeing as I was also a graphics guy and much smaller and weaker than him. In David’s view, the t-shirt was the most dependable bait when looking to lure cash from the general public’s wallets. Sports graphics, Christmas gags, event souvenirs, or just a sly double-entendre in Futura Bold, my brother knew whatever the public found amusing or inspiring, they wanted printed on a t-shirt. It was difficult to argue with this conclusion, but, tired of being muscled into his shirt-selling schemes, I tried anyway.