Tale of the tee: Mighty Like the White Rose City

Stay's first York-branded shirt
A record player
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Our pop-up stand at York’s Central Market.

Goulet Communications launched Stay Apparel Co. in October 2017.

For our Feb. 3 pop-up at Central Market in York, we packed what you might imagine: everything from tees and tumblers to sweatshirts and stickers, items we sell or, in the case of the stickers, give away.

We brought supplies, too: Two torso mannequins? Check. Stay-branded table cover? Check. Flashing lights to create a disco-in-a-tumbler effect with which to dazzle children? You bet.

But you might be surprised to know that we traveled with a CD of Elvis Costello’s “Mighty Like a Rose.” The record came out in 1991, which also is the year I arrived in York as a reporter for the York Daily Record.

The CD wasn’t for entertaining but rather explaining, in case anyone asked. Its title partially inspired our first York-branded tee. The front of the gray shirt reads, in white and gray ink, Mighty Like the White Rose City.

War of the Roses

York is nicknamed the White Rose City. But during each of Stay’s two visits to York (the other as part of York Flea’s Holiday Flea in December), we met shoppers who either were unfamiliar with the nickname or what it meant.

York takes its name from England’s House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. Likewise, Lancaster, Pa., derives from the House of Lancaster, known for its red rose. The two houses fought a series of civil wars in the mid-1400s that were known as the War of the Roses.

York, Pa., has a rich history in its own right, from the American Revolution to the industrial revolution. I thought about that history as Stay set up shop under the timber roof of Central Market, which opened in 1888 and is listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places.

I’m forever grateful for having the opportunity to be a reporter in York, which offered an endless array of interesting stories to tell. But my abiding affection for York also has much to do with the fact that it’s where I met my wife, Sara, who walked into the Daily Record newsroom and my life one day in late 1997.

The White Rose City is mighty indeed.

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