Thursday, March 01, 2012

Grants Pass—really?

When my kids were kids, we would often travel north from Ashland, Oregon where we lived, on I-5 to Eugene, or Portland or even Seattle. About 40 miles north of Ashland we would pass the small city of Grants Pass. Being Grants, ourselves, the kids once asked why the town was called Grants Pass. Ray responded that if you looked carefully, as we drove by, you could see that people had come out of their houses and directed their attention to the passing freeway, in order to see the Grants pass. Har, har, — get it? We were the "Grants" that were "pass"ing... OK, I know, very poor joke and the kids groaned unappreciatively. But the badness of the joke, then became the joke and it was repeated every time we drove past Grants Pass. And still is. And we still all groan.

According to the official web site of the city the name really came about this way:

How We Got Our Name
Grants Pass served as a stagecoach stop in the 1860's and became a rail head with the completion of the Oregon-California Railroad (now Southern Pacific) in 1884. The name was selected to honor General U.S. Grant's success at Vicksburg and the post office was established in 1865. Until after the turn of the century our name still retained the original spelling of Grant's Pass, using an apostrophe. 

But now, I learn, Grants Pass has achieved another distinction. A collectible plaid shirt has been created by the J. Crew Company and named the Grants Pass Plaid shirt.

It costs $100 and is described on the J. Crew web site thusly:
A new collection of old favorites, built using the foundations of traditional workwear, vintage military uniforms and classic outdoor gear as our guide. Named for Grants Pass, Oregon aka the coolest town you've never heard of, this plaid is based on a vintage shirt one of our designers picked up at a Pacific Northwest yard sale. Back east, our team reinterpreted the hardy, worn-to-the-mill flannel and gave it a modern color update, creating a limited edition original with all-American roots. Point collar. Camp pockets. A Collector's Item. Import. Machine wash.
I wonder why this makes me laugh so hard. Grants Pass is a charming little town, but hardly "the coolest town you've never heard of" and really, no one there would pay $100 for a plaid flannel shirt.


  1. I've from Calif and have been to Grants Pass on the way to my mother's home in Eugene many times. I'm laughing with you on this one! I SO agree with you that no one in Grants Pass would pay $100 for that shirt. LOL!! Thank for making my day!

  2. HAHAHA! That is so funny! I saw the picture of the shirt and thought "oh that's cute" but it is certainly not $100 cute. I too could probably pick a shirt up like this at a garage sale...I could call it my Mount Howard shirt :) (I don't think there is anything "Grunke" in OR...)

  3. I started laughing before you mentioned your laughing. Hee!! Of course, I love knowing the town is named after a distant relative. My maternal Grandmother's maiden name was Grant.

  4. LOL! I like the shirt, but $100 - really?!! I guess if it helps it sell. Hope you are having a pleasant day.

  5. Speaking of flannel shirts -- the other day I was wearing one of my worn plaid flannel shirts when I went to the post office. A woman in the car parked next to me looked at me very hard.
    I drove on down to a local convenience store and the same woman pulled into the parking lot. She was carrying a pile of flannel shirts. She approached me and asked, "Do you like flannel shirts?"
    I said I did. She said she was just going to put some shirts in a charity box in front of the store, but I could have them if I wanted. She said they were clean but not all of them were ironed.
    I thanked her and took the shirts. I re-washed them and kept the two I liked and took the rest to the collection bin the next day.
    My flannel shirts are wearing out and I guess she noticed. I'm poor, but not too proud.

  6. Lordie, Barnum was right - there's a sucker born every minute. A collectable flannel shirt? $100? Please tell me no Pacific Northwest native or long time resident would fall for this!

  7. The X marks the spot on each boob is an interesting fashion statement. Would Grants-Pass-ites really wear this color?

  8. Del, it did occur to me that no self-respecting lumber jack would wear an aqua flannel shirt!

  9. So funny! I will now have a story to tell the next time we drive down to Medford (DH's family is there). Those Xs over the chestal area are really uh, funny. Girls don't wear Xs over their boobies, and very few of the boys I am acquainted with would consider aqua as a clothing color. Hope they didn't make many. LOL
    You find the best stuff. :)

  10. I think the sadist part is that this shirt isn't even made in the USA, so there is no way it's worth 100 bucks!

  11. i wonder what it was about grants pass that the j crew people thought was so cool. i like the colors of the plaid but gee, around here we can buy 4 or 5 flannel shirts for that price and after one washing you would know the difference.