The town I grew up it, Patton, PA, once dominated the region and parts of the country with clay manufacturing and kilning made at the Patton Clay Works. They made everything from clay pipe, building brick, and most famously "The Patton Paver", for road paving. At one time you could travel to parts of Europe, and see roads and public squares paved with the embossed-branded "Patton Paver". Unfortunately by the time I came around in the '70's, clay pipe and paving bricks had long been out of favor, and the old clay plant and it's kilns lay empty and in ruin, much like the small town's economy.
What this plant and it's history means to me, is that I grew up about 100 yards away from it; it was almost in my backyard. One of my first memories is seeing flames shoot over our small hill, separating us from the Clay Works facility, and thinking, "This is not good." It turned out the local fireman were practicing their skills on the old structure by lighting it on fire, and then putting it out.
Like most kids in small towns, you have fun with the means your area gives you. In my case, I played in the ruins of the Clay Works for my entire early childhood. There were striped-out pieces of land everywhere, leaving (probably dangerous) cliff's to climb, old factory roads to ride your bike on, woods to explore, and old machinery to play on. The place was such a part of my existence, the spot was also a go-to in my teens, when it's abandoned seclusion made it a perfect spot for more nefarious activities that teenager partake in.
I made this tee not only for my own nostalgia, but to celebrate something important that once made my little town important and special. When I see empty buildings where our local business's used to reside, the apathy of the people left behind by the town's dead economy, and the general degradation of the town I grew up in, I wanted to make something that makes out town and it’s history look good, and proud. Other Pattonites have similar memories, and also completely different ones of the great Clay Works, and I hope this tee makes them remember them with pride.
*4 color print on the softest damn premium tri-blend heather grey tee your upper body has ever felt
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