Saturday, July 17, 2021

Brown C-crown Fedoras

So, last week I gave away eleven hats, eight of them brown c-crown fedoras, the other three straw hats (two being fedora-style, the third a wide-brim 'plantation hat*'). I've worn hats for as long as I can remember, and my hat of choice has long been the fedora. I remember being glad when the Indiana Jones movies came out, because they made it easier to find the kind of hat I like (though his are wider of brim than my preferred style). The reason I had so many is that when a hat wears out I retire it and get a new one. Over the years I had built up a considerable stack of old hats atop a row of bookcases down in the boxroom; hats I no longer wear but cdn't bring myself to get rid of.  Janice had suggested donating them to one of the area's theatrical troups for use as props in plays, but then the pandemic hit, complicating everything. In the end, a friend volunteered to take them for use as props in a party game for an end-of-fiscal-year organization. I hope they contribute to an enjoyable event.

It has been interesting just looking over these old hats. The boxes that each hat was stored in bear witness, from the names on the sides, to the sad fact that like a favorite restaurant, a hat shop is not a permanent thing. I had a hat from Donge in Milwaukee's on Old World Third street,** hats from Sacred Feather on State Street in Madison. And I had quite a few hats from Bernie Utze, my favorite of them all, here in Seattle downtown near the Pike Place Market.  

When the last of these went out of business a few years ago I planned ahead and bought three hats, which I thought shd last me a long long time: a hat I wear as my daily hat, a hat to wear when it's raining, and a back-up pristine hat I put aside to take the place of my everyday hat when it wore out somewhere down the line. Beyond that it seems likely that any future hats will probably be selected on-line --not a preferred method but hopefully workable.

Even though I gave away eleven hats, all in one fell swoop, I'm not exactly bereft of hats. In addition to the three Bernie Utz hats described above,  there's my fedora-style straw hat, which is getting a lot of use in this hot, dry summer. There's the straw hat I bought in Hawaii when we visited the rainy part of the Big Island, which endured trips to a volcano, a mountain top, and turtle beaches; one of my most durable hats. There's the handmade crafted hat bought on impulse during a visit to Trout Lake, which looks more like a Shire Hobbit hat and which we haven't actually worn in the year or so since we got them. And finally there's the old brown fedora, one of my all-time favorites, which during all this recent sorting out I decided I'd retired too soon and brought back into service. So that's seven hats I'm keeping.***

Janice, by the way, prefers collapsable hats: easy to carry and put on if the weather changes.

--John R. 

current reading:: Lindop

current viewing: McCartney 3 2 1


*a great hat, but not a style I can really pull off.

**where I had the worst shopping experience of my life, after which I quit going there. Janice, who witnessed it as a kind of innocent bystander, said it was funny.

***there's also the Fez, but it's more a roleplaying game prop than a hat I'd actually wear outside, where people might see me.

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