During the New Year, there’s a tendency to purge the old and bring in something new. With that in mind, Good News Wants to Know… What’s the one thing in your closet you would never throw away? Why?
One thing I would never throw away. My 9/11 items. Crazy; my shoes worn in the pit during the WTC cleanup. Covered in “dust,” wrapped in a bag — seemed like we walked on holy ground. Also saved news articles and a hat remembering FDNY firefighter, Michael Ragusa.
Karen Granger, Community Relations Director, Palm Beach County, 4KIDS Palm Beach
An ancient athlete always has something in his closet that attaches him to his majestic Memory Lane and Glory Days! Therefore what will not go or throw way is my High School Letterman’s jacket decorated with playoff and State Champion patches. Go Griffin Bears!!
Bernard King, Sr., Pastor, Cornerstone Bible Fellowship
I would never throw away my wedding suit. It was a really cool (Bob Denison phrase) tailored suit with a vest. That suit was worn by me at the beginning of now a 40-year adventure journey with my best friend, my wife, Jane. Her mother knew it was meant to be when she saw everything in my kitchen cabinet lined up in perfect order, and she was right!
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott Attorneys at Law
In my closet lives a very old baseball glove. Every time I put it on I get the feeling I’ll play the Bigs. It’ll happen one day: a scout for the Yankees (maybe the Marlins) will drive by; witness my accidently curve, and sign me on the spot.
Emily Dickinson said, “hope is the thing with feathers.” I say, “hope is the thing made of sandlot leathers.” For that reason, the thing I’m grabbing in a fire: my 4th grade baseball glove.
Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting
I have a few articles of clothing in my closet that I am in no danger of ever wearing again (or fitting into for that matter!) However, there are things that I would never throw away, for the sentimental value. There is a tie that my grandfather passed down to me, a sweater from my later father, a warm up jacket from my AAU swimming days at Pine Crest and, finally, a letterman jacket from my marching band days playing the drums at Northeast High School.
Chip LaMarca, State Representative, Florida House District 93
Never would I get rid of my silk ‘long-johns.’ They are light and warm in winter and are great when I have to go to really cold weather. Sometimes I even sleep in them!
H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.
Still hanging onto a couple of tennis racquets. One I used when I was finishing up a 13-year career as a teaching tennis professional and the other from the last tournament I won. I like to show young people the evolution of tennis racquets through the ages.
Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
I will always keep the motorcycle helmet I wore taking a 4,600-mile motorcycle trip across Africa and through Europe when I was 20 years old.
Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service
My wife and I are downsizing. She’s all “Keep it!” and I’m “Pitch it!” She preserves memories while I think utility. But she’s persuading me that those tangible evidences of the past, the ones that make present the myriad sights and sounds of events long gone, are the true valuables. In the closest there’s a small music box our youngest daughter gave me years ago that plays “You Have a Friend.” Turn the crank and memories flood in. She’s vividly present.
Gene L. Green, PhD, Dean, Trinity International University – Florida
I am known to clear my closet of anything that has not been touched in a year or two. The one thing I won’t throw away is my wedding dress. Next year marks 25 years of marriage for me and my husband, Paul. I hope my daughter may use some part of it for her wedding one day if she chooses.
Germaine Smith Baugh, Ed.D, President and CEO, Urban League of Broward County
I still have my Navy Service Dress White uniform, which I bring out when we have a graduation ceremony for one of our students attending the US Naval Academy. It has gotten more difficult to fit into since I retired!
George R. Moraitis, Jr., Moraitis, Cofar, Karney, Moraitis & Quailey
I have a double-breasted houndstooth sports jacket that I wear on Christmas since 1988 that holds so many wonderful memories that I don’t believe I could ever part with it. The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without it.
Gregg Wallick, President, Best Roofing, Inc.
I have a waxed canvas duster coat that I bought in 1988. I wear it every winter for my travels to Manhattan, Chicago, Detroit; wherever the cold winds blow and the snow flies. I had it on when we brought our first born home, when my late wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer, when I joined the ribbon cutting at the inaugural North American International Auto Show, when I knelt and prayed with a friend who accepted Christ on Rush St. in Chicago at 1:30 AM. My memorial duster will always be in my wardrobe.
James ‘JT’ Taylor, Managing Director, Head of Automotive, Truist Securities
I am a lifelong New Orleans Saints fan. I have an “old jersey” that I have worn for almost two decades. It is from a time when the Saints were not a very good franchise. Of course, they eventually became a good franchise and won a Super Bowl. The jersey reminds me to not abandon something in the hard times. I would never get rid of it.
James Welch, Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale
The one thing I would never throw away is my high school jacket from our basketball team. It’s a beautiful red jacket, with the “letter” for playing varsity, and still fits. Now my wife may disagree about its beauty (and that it still fits) and would love to see it go away. But it will never leave (reminds me: I better check if it’s still in the closet).
Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations Officer, Bass Underwriters
Even though it’s been ten-plus years since I moved from Seattle to Florida, I still have packed away the cashmere sweaters I used to wear in the rainy, cold weather that marked Seattle winters. I have yet to put one on since I moved to Florida, but I keep them at the ready for a cold spell that will allow me pull them out and enjoy their warmth and coziness again.
Oksana Horton, Creative Director, Torch & Trumpet Theater Company
The one thing in my prayer closet that I would never throw away are my old preaching Bibles that I have preached from over the last 40 years, because I wrote down the Hebrew and Greek meanings of many of the words in the Bible and study notes from various commentaries. Such inspirational notes would be very difficult or impossible to re-capture.
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
I tried to come up with something cute, nostalgic or memorable, but I really do not have anything in my closet that I would not throw away or give away. Things are not very important to me. I always have enough for what I need and am truly grateful to God for always providing all that I need. Now if you talked about my books, there are many that I would rather not part with.
Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida
The one thing in my closet that I would never throw away is the uniform I got to wear when I carried the Olympic Torch… an awesome white jacket with matching sweatpants and the Olympic logo proudly displayed strategically on the uniform… but most of all because of all the Olympics stand for… The best of the best athletes from every country in the world, coming together for 2 weeks of healthy athletic competition… And during those 2 weeks someway, somehow ‘THE WORLD BECOMES ONE’ and it is all displayed in the “SPIRIT OF UNITY” embodied in the Olympic Flame!
Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder/President, SAINTS Homeschool P.E. and SAINTS International Sports Ministry
Since cleaning out my clothes closet is not my favorite activity, I usually err on the side of “keep” versus throw out. But if I had to pick one thing to always hold on to, I guess it would be my old leather jacket. Since cool weather doesn’t necessitate its use that often, it has held up well through all these years, and when the air does turn crisp, it comes in handy.
Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers Morris & Ziegler LLP
I know that many will say “the Bible,” but let’s just assume that’s true for all of us. I have a hand carved ventriloquial figure (wooden puppet). His name is Calvin because he believes he was predestined to be a puppet ever since he was a tree. I have had him longer than either of my children and would never throw him away. He is my alter ego. In fact, I thought about naming him Walter Ego, but thought Calvin was better. I spent a lot of money, waited over a year for him to be carved, and he has been with me in thousands of shows. He is one of my best friends, of whom I have many, living rent-free inside my mind.
Samuel Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary
The one item in my closet I will never get rid of is the pair of Guess jeans I wore in my teen years. They remind me of my Highschool years and hold memories of my travels around the world on a floating University – Semester at Sea Fall 1986. Most important, I just tried them on and they still fit!
Sandra Muvdi, President/CEO, Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation®
That’s an easy one for me: the tie that my daughter bought for me to wear on her wedding day. She stitched a heart onto the back which says, “Dad, I loved you first. Morgan”
Tom Hendrikse, Senior Pastor, Rio Vista Church