* UPDATE, April 2015* — I just found out that Ties That Matter no longer takes donations.
Catching up on the daily newspaper I see an article about Ties That Matter, a program that collects neckties for Haitian women to use to make and sell dolls and other products from donated neckties. I know I said I wouldn’t work on cleaning out the closets yet, but this is too good to pass up.
Bob had dozens – no, hundreds – of beautiful ties, most of them still in my closet. We traveled a lot when we worked for the airlines, and he often bought ties on trips. When we moved into the house I put in closet organizers with a built-in tie rack for him. It’s still there, overflowing, all from the days before business casual. After his death I went through the boxes in his storage room and found dozens more ties. I donated some along with his suits, then, entranced by the colors and patterns, lured by fabric of memory as much as by silk from Italy and wool from England and Scotland, I decided to keep them awhile. Nobody wears ties to work these days, I thought, so why donate them to a thrift store where no one would buy them. I imagined making a wall quilt, after I retired of course. I’d juxtapose the glowing burgundies and blues, paisleys and stripes, and it would be a work of art.
But I don’t see any activity toward making that quilt.
I sort through, unable to resist laying out the ties by pattern… stripes, solids, paisley. I’m also unable to resist keeping just a few. There’s one I bought for him in Rome – he thanked me, but privately thought it was too narrow, so never wore it. There are some skinny 1960’s Rat-Pack ties, and a couple of wild wide ones from even earlier. I experience temptation. There’s that Etsy vintage account I’ve been meaning to open, could I possible sell a few?
Ties — I snap a few photos to remember them by.
Ties That Matter looks like a wonderful place for me to donate Bob’s ties to a good cause.