A Simple Hat

Daaad, you can’t wear that!  I hear that all the time.  Really dear, you’ll embarrass the children.  Well really, she means I’ll embarrass her.  Sure, I have a “style” that’s a little different from what most people wear.  That’s the idea.  I have pieces representing many styles, and I just put them together as I see fit.  I haven’t’ finished collecting pieces.  The family ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

It’s just a hat.  Men don’t really wear hats any more.  John Kennedy stopped that when he went hatless as President.  Up until then men always wore hats.  Fedoras, Homburgs, Stetsons.  Now, if men wear hats, they wear ball caps.  Maybe I should call them bald caps.  Lots of guys wear that old baseball hat to cover up the fact that they are bald.  Maybe a little spot in the back.  Or, maybe all they have left is sideburns. 

Not everyone would agree with me, but I don’t see being bald as a terrible thing.  No, I’m not bald.  And no, I don’t have the hair I used to.  In the back I’ve got a little spot where some skin shows.  I can’t see it, even when I look in the mirror, but I know it’s there.  Just a little.  But hey, admitting to that is, for me, a big deal.  But like I said, bald is no crime.

My hat isn’t intended to cover a bald spot though.  The hat serves many purposes.  It keeps me from getting sunburned where my hair parts, and on my nose.  The brim keeps the sun out of my eyes.  If my hair is a wreck in the morning I can slap a hat on and hide my resemblance to Medusa.  Lately though, I’ve been using my hat to keep the sun off my ears.  Poor things, they’ve been frostbitten and sunburned.  Now the skin is gone and in places the cartilage shows through.  That’s what the doc told me anyway.

So, in trying to preserve my skin, I’ve started to wear a hat with a brim all around.  To cover my ears.  Sunscreen isn’t enough.  I started with a straw Panama.  It was a little too fancy.  Cost a pretty penny back when I got it.  A shop in Georgetown.  But I wore it to concert or two.  And to the beach.  Couldn’t bring myself to wear it working in the yard.  It seemed to sit too high on my head anyway and I tried to modify it, but I think I might have ruined it.  It kinda looks like an old bale of hay now.

That was replaced with a cheap farmer kind of straw hat.  A buck fifty at the thrift store.  It didn’t last long with me sweating in it all the time.  That’s when I decided to spend a little dough on a good hat again.  I ended up with some kind of trekker hat.  Hi tech stuff.  You know, it floats and breathes and rolls up for travel and has UPF 200 built into it.  And if I lose it, or break it somehow, the manufacturer will replace it for the rest of my life. 

Nice hat.  Very nice.  But I can’t find it.  The fashion police got it.  So, now I have a red bucket hat.  I keep careful tabs on that one.  It’s ugly as sin.  But I tell the family that red is the color of the local college football team.  So there.  It’s just a cotton hat.  But this one I can wear sailing, kayaking, bike riding, in the yard, to the football game, the baseball game.  Even under my scooter helmet. It’s my greatest hat.  Now, when anyone gives me a hard time about what I’m wearing, I tell them I’ll put on the red hat if they don’t hush.  For them, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, worse than the red hat.  Maybe that’s why they keep buying me those baseball hats.  Wait until they see the flame boots!

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  http://www.personalhistorywriter.com


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