Pride that goes beyond the grave

Material World

February 23, 2003|By Hartford Courant

The soft spot that Joe and Jane College have for their alma maters deepens in the years after graduation. Now it can extend into perpetuity, thanks to Collegiate Memorials, a Macon, Ga., company that sells caskets emblazoned with college logos.

A full range of college pennants, sweat shirts and other, more eclectic items will be shown next month at Camex, a trade show in St. Louis dedicated to the needs of America's 1,000-plus college bookstores.

Alas, Collegiate Memorials won't be there; they sell only through funeral homes. But Bufkor Inc. will; the company peddles high-end office paraphernalia, such as $400 chess sets in which University of Maryland fans can maneuver against Duke alumni using pieces cast in the teams' colors.

In its first year at the trade show, Hotline's pushing something more intimate -- thongs. The company, which started with sales to Las Vegas showgirls, now embroiders college and sorority logos into the tiny triangle of fabric on the backside of the thong.

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