Perot shirt goes on history's shelf DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

July 17, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

MANCHESTER -- Forget what Ross Perot's exit from the presidential race will do for the Democrats or Republicans.

For this tiny Carroll County T-shirt and knickknack company that has been churning out thousands of Perot-emblazoned goods for seven months, the departure of the Texas billionaire yesterday was good for business.

"It's been a real busy morning in here," said William Heffner, a Hampstead artist who designs the T-shirts, coffee mugs, cowboy-style straw hats, key chains, yo-yos and flags sold by the American T-Shirt Co.

"Business was really slowing when people were wondering what Perot was going to do. Minutes after his announcement, the phone was ringing off the hook."

American T-Shirt -- actually a small, steamy room in the back of a coin-operated laundry -- began marketing Perot products to volunteer groups, said owner Fred Burns. Those groups would turn around and sell the merchandise to raise money for Mr. Perot's drive to get on the ballot in every state.

"Now it looks like these will all be pieces of history," Mr. Burns said.

One of the people who wanted to buy a $10 slice of American history was Baltimore teacher Ann Mainolfi. While she and her husband -- who have a summer home here -- don't consider themselves Perot supporters, she said she "just had to have some sort of remembrance" of the failed campaign.

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