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  • Jon Busdeker

BJ's T-Shirt Shop honors the deceased with "R.I.P. Shirts"

ORLANDO, FL - They are the faces of the dead. Almost all of them are young, African-American men. Many of them were shot and killed.

BJ's T-Shirt Shop at the Magic Mall on West Colonial Drive in Orlando specializes in "R.I.P. T-Shirts." The shirts feature photos of the recently deceased. Dozens of them hang on the walls of the shop. They read: "REST IN PARADISE," "MY FALLEN SOLDIER" and "SLEEP EASY."

On most days, manager Virginia McGill - known as Miss Vee to her customers - is the one making the shirts. McGill said family and friends want to honor their deceased loved ones, and a shirt with that uncle, brother, son or father is their way to do it.

he estimates she's made 10,000 R.I.P shirts during her decade or so at the shop. (Some families order up to 200 shirts.)

But being surrounded by death takes its toll. Sometimes McGill has to take a break and just walk away from the shop for a few minutes.

"It just makes me feel mad, because why?" she said. "Why we can't talk? Why we have to use guns?"

Address: 2155 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32804 (By the Car Wash) Website: No website Phone number: 407-376-6300

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