POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Local business, Counter Point Cooperative, recently gave back to the community through t-shirts.
Co-owner, Ashley Wamsley Morrison, decided to create a shirt to honor Gary Stewart who led the Point Pleasant High School (PPHS) Band from 1969 to 2002.
“I grew up going to the Black Knight Revue as a kid,” Morrison said. “Both my dad and aunt were in Gary’s band, so I thought doing a shirt dedicated to the legacy of Gary would be really cool.”
Morrison sought permission from both Stewart’s family and Stewart prior to designing the shirt.
The shirt features a silhouette picture of Stewart listing the years he was with the band and the words, “Alumni of Stewart’s Band Camp” above.
Morrison also decided a portion of the shirt’s sales should be donated to the Black Knight Revue, given her inspiration.
The nostalgia of the shirt resonated with a number of people, Morrison said about 150 shirts were sold within a three day pre-order period.
“It’s by far one of the most popular shirts we’ve sold since opening four years ago,” Morrison said.
Counter Point has produced a number of nostalgic shirts including Krodel Beach, North Point School, Ordinance Elementary School and Point Pleasant Middle School from the purple Pirates mascot days.
The Stewart Band Camp shirt led to a $400 donation to the Point Pleasant Jr./Sr. High School band boosters for the next Black Night Revue.
Morrison and felow co-owner Marqkita Sexton recently met with Stewart and Ben Loudin, current band director and a former student of Stewart. Loudin was presented with the check and Stewart with his own Stewart’s Band Camp Shirt, as well as his family.
Upon seeing the shirt, Stewart said, “You got my beard right.”
When asked about his feelings on so many people being excited for the shirt and being symbolic to so many people, Stewart laughed and said, “I’m old.”
Stewart had no knowledge of the shirt until his daughters let it slip, he said.
“Well, you guys let the cat out of the bag,” Stewart said. “Three daughters you get told on a lot.”
Stewart was speechless when he learned of the popularity of the shirt.
Counter Point still has a select number of shirts for sale.
After leaving PPHS, Stewart taught at the University of Rio Grande, retiring right before COVID-19, making the shirt “kind of like a legacy t-shirt,” Morrison said.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer with Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @bhively1. Reach her at (740) 446-4303 ext 2555.