Essay by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com

 

045

I am involved in an ongoing love affair … with sweaters. Spring sweaters, summer sweaters, autumn sweaters – and most of all – thick, warm, winter sweaters. From late September to March these woolen companions sit, carefully folded, coddled if you will, inside the armoire in my bedroom waiting for their turns to shelter me from the cold New England weather. I would venture to guess that my sweaters have minimal monetary value yet I treasure them.

Some have been with me for years. Some were given to me as gifts. Some called out to me from store shelves. I can remember specific sweaters I’ve worn at given times.

There’s the deep brown, tan and creme colored Icelandic cardigan I am fond of wearing for tailgating at UConn football games. I have my eyes open for one like it in the university’s colors of blue & white.

There’s the light beige L.L. Bean wool cable knit sweater I wore when I covered a speech for newsandviews by a friend who had just returned from serving in Afghanistan. It was towards the end of September with a chill in the night air.

My red and black ski sweater I wore to a Hartford Whalers hockey game where Ronnie Francis and Pat Verbeek squared off against each other – the first match after Ronnie was traded to Pittsburgh. I cheered for him to play well but for the Whalers to win.

The solid white angora turtleneck I wore when Becca, my best friend from college, and I drove from Storrs down to Giants Stadium to watch our friend Nick play in a NFL game.

Then there’s the off-white, beige and brown trimmed Fair Isle sweater I wore the night, yes I said night, midnight to be exact, Jon and I went sledding down Horsebarn Hill.

The apple green cable cashmere I wore to the last St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hartford that my sisters and I brought Mom to watch. Afterwards we had lunch at the Wood-n-Tap in Farmington.

There’s the bulky handknit, oversized, wraparound, I wear to photograph the Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race each November. It also kept me warm during an outdoor Toby Keith concert when the thermometer took an unexpected dip.

My gray and bourbon tone L.L. Bean sweater jacket I wore for the first time on a reporting assignment for the paper – a fabulous Holiday Light Parade. Temperatures approached single digits but I was toasty.

I wore the white and red reindeer sweater to cover the Governor’s Mansion Holiday Open House.

Yes, more ….There’s the peach colored v-neck low button mohair I’ve worn with matching peach corduroys to Sunday Brunch at Adam’s Mill. Oh, how I adore mohair.

A pebble knit boatneck in taupe I wore with a white cotton t-neck underneath, on my first trip to Butternut Basin.

The list goes on. If this sounds frivolous – think again. These are more than mere sweaters. When I open the doors to my armoire I see glimpses of my life, and I wonder where my love affair will lead me next.