Anyone who knows me knows I love my Destin Fishing Rodeo T-shirts.


Well I finally gave a few of them up — sort of.


They were all returned in the form of a quilt.


A couple of years ago, a friend of mine had a quilt made out of some of his old Rodeo shirts as well as other fishing tournament T-shirts.


That’s when I got the idea to have my Rodeo shirts turned into a quilt.


Not knowing exactly how many it would take - I shipped out almost 50, long sleeve and short sleeve shirts to Sharon Hartley of Shalimar, the maker of the quilt


Now before you say something like — “Who would have that many Rodeo T-shirts?”


Let me just say, I’m a firm supporter of the Rodeo and the T-shirts make for perfect wear for me as the reporter who covers the fishing docks. As a matter of fact, I have served on the Rodeo board for probably close to 20 years, not all consecutive. And this year I had the pleasure to serve as chairman of the 71st Rodeo.


How did I decide which ones to give up for the quilt? Well some of it had to do with sizing - as in the ones that do not fit anymore, but I couldn’t give away. Then there were the ones that were starting to show some wear and tear, but still had sentimental value. Plus there were the ones I had duplicates of in various colors.


Anyhow, it was hard giving up some of my favorites ... the only good thing is, I knew they would come back.


The oldest T-shirt on the quilt dates back to 1992.


And not to fret, I had one from this year’s Rodeo stitched on as well.


As a matter of fact, as chairman I got to come up with a design for a shirt. My shirt was known as the “Mystery” shirt or the “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” shirt.


I wanted to pay tribute to the beginnings of the Rodeo so we went with Capt. Howard Marler and had the name of his boat the Mystery to go on the fish board on the shirt.


Capt. Marler and his son Bruce, who later became a boat captain as well, caught the first king mackerel in the first Destin Fishing Rodeo in 1948 aboard his boat the Mystery.


Anyhow, the shirt was a hit with folks who visited the Rodeo and I love it on my new quilt.


Word is if you want to dress like a local ... Rodeo wear is the way to go.


Well I guess I can now sleep like a local as well.