R.I.P. Old Red (Or, Me in My Underwear)

Getting dressed for skiing tonight, I accidentally tore the cuff off my favorite pair of “baselayer bottoms,” Old Red. (Yes, I called them that – but only in my head.)

Old Red
Old Red

Old Red was real “long underwear.” I got them in 1994, when my parents, in what must have been a huge splurge, gave them to me as a gift. I had just started cross-country skiing then, and the polypropylene fabric was a huge improvement over the white cotton waffle-knit long johns that were then ubiquitous – but that were (and are) awful to wear during exercise.

I dunno how many kilometers of skiing were eased by wearing these long johns over the last 17 years, but it must be in the thousands by now. I wore Old Red both times I skied in the Michigan state championships, and in a dozen other races. Through it all, Old Red held up very well, getting a bit thinner every year but always doing its job.

Because of all that, I am a little bit sad to have to retire Old Red. My sadness is mitigated by three things, though. First, I’m going to cut Old Red up and use the strips to clean my skis when I wax them. Second, I still have Old Red’s partner, a great “baselayer” turtleneck that I wear when skiing in the coldest temperatures. Third, it’s very silly to be sad about long underwear.

4 thoughts on “R.I.P. Old Red (Or, Me in My Underwear)”

  1. RIP Old Red. May you make Christopher’s skis sparkle and shine. (May I also suggest two small strips would make lovely fabric-covered barrettes (or a headband) for your girls’ hair? 🙂

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