Post 5/2021 Friday 29 January . . . Mary Baechler, my late great-aunt, knitted a pair of mittens for me that I’ve just retrieved from a bottom dresser drawer. The mittens may be 50 years old. At one time I wore them all the time for walks in winter. They are so warm, so evocatively warm, so proudly warm as in a walk we took on Thursday to the Goshen Public Library. The mittens retrieval comes thanks to a photo of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wearing knitted mittens on Inauguration Day, January 20.
On January 27, CNN reporters Kelly McCleary and Amanda Jackson said the Bernie Sanders meme had raised $1.8 million for charities in Vermont. Sanders team began selling sweatshirts and T-shirts that featured the photo. Among the charities receiving the proceeds are Vermont area agencies on aging for Meals on Wheels, Vermont Parents Network and others.
Also, Tobey King of Corpus Christi, Texas was inspired to crochet a Bernie Sander’s doll which she sold in an online auction on eBay for $20,000. eBay matched the selling price with the final total of $40,600 going to Meals on Wheels. There were other related donations from manufacturers of what Bernie was wearing. The photo was taken by an Agence France-Presse photographer.
(I posted a letter I got from great-aunt Mary in my blog of March 27, 2016, titled, “Coffee, Stop Press, Easter, Great-Aunt Mary.” To find it, select March 2016 in the archive box on the right).
The mittens moment could weave on and on, springing from a viral Inauguration photo that called to mind personal memories, here centered on great-aunt Mary, a woman of agile mind, skilled fingers, and a heart that melted ice. She died in 1988. Blessed be the memory of all who have gone before.