I read that when you and Rahm Emanuel were faced with the tough decisions you had to make every day, you would joke about opening a t-shirt shack in Hawaii that only sold medium-sized, white t-shirts. So I decided to make it for you.
Your t-shirt shack is called Medium White Tee. It’s in Ward Village in Honolulu, and it’ll be open from January 11th until February 9th. In keeping with your vision, it’ll only sell white t-shirts, size medium. You’re welcome to come work there whenever you like. It’ll be staffed by volunteers until you show up for your shift.
Your sister Maya thought you might like a t-shirt from your t-shirt shack for Christmas, so I’m sending you Medium White Tee #1. She’ll also be the guest of honor at our opening.
I know this might seem silly, but I just wanted to thank you for all you’ve done, and fulfilling this dream you had seemed like a good way to do it. When things got tough, you didn’t leave it all behind to go sell t-shirts in Hawaii, and we’re better off for it.
As reported in The New York Times, President Obama and Rahm Emanuel had a joke they’d make when confronting the stresses of running the country: what if they left it all behind and opened a t-shirt shack in Hawaii that sold nothing but white t-shirts, size medium, so they’d never have to make another decision? Medium White Tee has made this fantasy real.
On January 12, Medium White Tee—an actual t-shirt shack that sells only medium-sized white t-shirts—opens in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is offered to Obama as a gift at the completion of his presidency. He has an open invitation to take over running the shop as soon as his term is done.
Medium White Tee is a month-long thank you gift to President Obama. More specifically, it’s an expression of gratitude for the considered way he made decisions–and the import he placed on those decisions–while in office. It’s also a space for contemplation and a respite from our own daily decision–making, big or small.
Medium White Tee is an installation by Emily Spivack with GRT Architects. T-shirts can be purchased onsite in Honolulu, or online starting January 11. Proceeds from t-shirt sales will be donated to The Bus Federation Civic Fund and Mala ʻAi ʻOpio Youth Community Food Systems Initiative (MA’O).
Casey Collins Wright