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Mary's Goat

Imagine the construction of a home. Years ago. A big yellow machine is digging up the earth for the building. Emblazoned on the machine is the name Caterpillar. Operating it is a person wearing earthy, grubby coveralls and a cap on which is written, “Cat”. Short for Caterpillar.

That job finished, the carpenters go to work. Some are in medium brown jackets, maybe pants too, and on these clothes is the name Carhartt. Very unobtrusive.

Both are the apparel of hard working craftsmen. Long ago.

Going from labor to leisure, up to the 1960s golfers, mostly men, wore short or long sleeved buttoned shirts. Sometime thereafter, polo shirts became the vogue on the course, derived from those who played polo. It may be at that time that a small logo, a polo mallet I think, began to appear on the left breast of the colorful shirts. On the golf course about that time, a little embroidered alligator began to appear on “Polo” shirts, and they became golf shirts.

It was only a short while before other logos were sewed or stamped or screened into the shirts. The alligator disappeared, golf course names were on the shirts and this ultimately led to the most recognizable corporate logo ever—The Swoosh, as it became known, designating Nike. Today you don’t have to be a sportsman to attire yourself from footwear to cap with every item on your body (I don’t know about underpants) Swooshed.

Watch almost any sport these days and you will see the simple comma-like mark somewhere on the player, or some racing cars, or fishing vests.

I began with Cat and Carhartt because as ludicrous as it seemed at the time they too are now fashion symbols. I was given a Carhartt outer shirt-jacket as a gift. On the pocket is a small leather tab with the name on it. Every snap on it, seven down the front, two on each sleeve have the name stamped into them. It is not designed as a shirt for carpenters or loggers or any laborers. It is too pretty.

Why is this guy blathering about these world wide wearable ads in a publication aimed at the Methow? Here’s why. We have one right here in little old Mazama. It’s refreed to simply as “The Goat” or in more complex language, “The Mazama Goat”.

Getting even closer to home, the brain and talent that produced the Goat works part time right here at Methownet. Her name is Mary Sharman and she has manifold talents, including the graphic designs for shirts. You may have seen them commemorating a notable forest fire.

The Goat was born before Methownet existed, back in the 1990s or so. I was working at the old old Mazama Store, which can itself be the subject of another article, when it was bought by Jeff Sandine, who had just sold his company Ballard Computer in Seattle. He tore down the old store and built what was then the new one. He wanted a logo and Mary had one for him. He asked how much she wanted for the rights and paid her more than what she asked.

This led to some verbal conflict between me and a subsequent owner of the store. As a writer, I firmly believe in giving credit to a person who creates, whether a thing or a rumor, where it does not put that person in any jeopardy. So, when writing for the newspaper, I mentioned “Mary Sharman’s Goat,” the store owner complained that when he bought the store the Goat came with it. I had no argument with that, but insisted that Sharman was the mother of the Goat, in a manner of speaking.

The owner, then, and I never saw eye to eye on that topic.


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