South Carolina

‘Rock star’ sign language interpreter immortalized on T-shirt

SC Gov. Nikki Haley certified deaf interpreter Jason Hurdich is the star of a T-shirt design commemorating Hurricane Matthew recovery, designed by Chris Sanford and given away for free by ImagiNation Athletics of Myrtle Beach.
SC Gov. Nikki Haley certified deaf interpreter Jason Hurdich is the star of a T-shirt design commemorating Hurricane Matthew recovery, designed by Chris Sanford and given away for free by ImagiNation Athletics of Myrtle Beach. ImagiNation Athletics

An infamous hurricane continues to grow the in-state celebrity status of SC Gov. Nikki Haley's uber-expressive sign language interpreter.

Jason Hurdich, who stood by the governor's side and animatedly interpreted her words for the deaf and hard of hearing during frequent Hurricane Matthew news conferences, is now on a hit T-shirt recalling Hurricane Matthew and celebrating recovery, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

Myrtle Beach screen printing business ImagiNATION Athletics created the design depicting Hurdich, who hails from Charleston, with his hands in the "now" gesture, which positions his thumbs and pinky fingers in a way that says "hang loose" in pop culture.

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The shirt encourages people to get out and surf.

ImagiNATION owner Richard Knott said he wanted to highlight the positives of Matthew and was giving the shirts, designed by Chris Sanford, away for free. The huge demand ended that plan.

“Without a doubt we could have gotten 1,000 orders. Easily,” Knott told the newspaper.

Hurdich told the Post and Courier he was humbled to be included. "I was only doing my job as a Certified Deaf Interpreter," he said.

He did request a few of the shirts for his friends and family.

You might have seen him on television or the internet, standing next to Gov. Nikki Haley and other S.C. officials as they discuss Hurricane Matthew, his hands and arms moving in rapid, calculated motions. Jason Hurdich, a nationally certified deaf

Kelly Davis: 843-706-8102, @kdavis2001

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