Men’s Hats

March 13, 2014

One of Dad's well-worn billed caps

One of Dad’s well-worn billed caps

“But look at any assembly of men with their hats on; how large a proportion of the hats will be old, weather-beaten, and indented; but, I think, so much more picturesque and interesting.  One farmer rides by my door in a hat which it does me good to see, there is so much character in it, so much independence, to begin with, and then affection for his old friends, etc., etc. I should not wonder if there were lichens on it.”
– Henry David Thoreau, from Winter: The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Vol. 8

“Men wear their hats for use, women theirs for ornament.”
– Henry David Thoreau, from Winter: The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Vol. 8

I think my Dad might have worn hats when he was a dapper young man, but in my lifetime, he rarely left the house without wearing a billed cap.  They often carried the logos of farm implement and seed companies.  The bill provided welcome shade during the long hours on the tractor or in his fishing boat.

You can tell a lot about my Dad from looking at this well-worn cap, a souvenir of his trip down the Salmon River to visit the homestead where his great uncle once lived.  It is stained and torn and worn to shreds, and yet, my frugal Dad still kept it in a drawer in the mud room.  I don’t know if he kept it for sentimental reasons, or if he still saw some useful life left in it.

Watercolor sketch of one of Dad's favorite caps

Watercolor sketch of one of Dad’s favorite caps

 

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4 Responses to “Men’s Hats”

  1. Cindy Dowdell Says:

    Ok, so it wasn’t his Sunday-go-to-meeting hat. This cap looks soft and comfy and well loved – sort of the velveteen rabbit of baseball caps :)

    • Rosemary Says:

      Cindy! what an apt description — the velveteen rabbit of baseball caps. I wish I had thought of it. Perfect.

  2. shoreacres Says:

    That hat would be very happy down here. It’s just getting broken in – perfect for a day on the bay or an offshore fishing trip. This is a man’s hat.


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