July 2015

The Grey-Haired Guy in the Yellow Shirt

We can always find Mike Spiker at the reunion, he's the grey-haired guy in the yellow shirt.

I haven’t been able to attend the family reunion as often as I’d like – Florida is, as some in our family say, “a fer piece away” –  so I always look forward to seeing all the shared photos. As I flip thru the pics you may hear me exclaim ”WOW! What a large crowd this year,” or “Goodness, look how so-and-so has grown,” (yes, I probably do say “so-and-so” because I have a terrible time remembering all the children’s names,) and “THERE’S MIKE!!!”

But then don’t we all say “There’s Mike”?  I mean, he is kinda hard to miss with that bright gold shirt.

I don’t recall the first time I saw him wear “The Shirt”. I mean, I barely notice what someone is wearing, even when I’m standing next to them. So it amazed me that a full year later ”The Shirt” was familiar. I flipped through some old photos and, yep, there it was again.

Of course, it soon became clear that this was intentional on Mike’s part. So I asked him, “What’s up with The Shirt?” Here’s what he said:

In response to your question regarding the shirt:  I started wearing it (I’m not sure when) because it was a WVU shirt. It was bright in color and was kind of a reminder to all to have fun at a party (i.e., reunion) since it was like what people wear at the beach, pool, etc.

Then one year I forgot it and, first Melinda, then several others asked why I was not wearing it. Even this year, when I first had a blue t-shirt on (so as to not get my shirt dirty,) Melinda asked me where my yellow shirt was. I told her to wait, that I had it and would wear it. So I did. 

Now it is part of the tradition. And at least I can try to locate myself in a picture by looking for the grey-haired guy in the yellow shirt. Thanks for asking.”

Speaking of shirts, someone posted a picture of a hoodie sweatshirt (similar to the one shown here) to my Facebook page. Was that post ever popular!!! Following the conversation, I noticed time after time, people saying things like “I never knew there were so many Spikers,” or “I thought we were the only Spikers,”. So I decided to try to connect with them through Facebook.

I created a group called “Last Name Spiker”.  People came to our group from Pennsylvania and Indiana and even Ireland, to “meet” one another, share genealogy sources & to find out if, and how, we are all related. And it all started with that Spiker hoodie.