Sunday, August 25, 2013

Photo-of-the-Week #121 - THE Hat! August 2013

So, let's get the facts straight! I am NOT a slave to fashion. If GQ (formerly Gentleman's Quarterly), Esquire and Maxim magazines depended on men like me for readership and supporting their advertisers, all three would have long been out of business. No one can accuse me of being a fashion plate. Okay, maybe I bought into it a bit back in the "Mod Squad" days of the 70's when I was doing my best to be cool and on top of my game as the president of an up and coming media production company and high-speed tape duplication plant. I had the Nehru shirts with the heavy chain and (meaningless, to me) medallion, the bell-bottom pants, the long hair and beard and, yes, I even had the requisite double knit leisure suit. I know one of these days I'm going to accidentally find some of the photos of me during that period. I hope they don't cause me to go blind.

By the time I reached my mid 40's I became comfortable in my own skin, as the saying goes. I became a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) person. Accept me as I am and who I am or move on. I have a serious disdain for "designer" clothes. Just as I prefer not to allow "free" advertising for a dealer on the back end of whatever vehicle I drive, I'm not going to advertise anyone's designer name on my ass. I shop for what fits, feels good, I'm comfortable in, durable, has the features I want and is priced right when meeting the listed criteria. So, when/if you ever meet me, please don't have expectations of meeting Mr. Cool. You're only going to meet Mr. Comfortable and Mr. Pragmatic.

And now - THE Hat! Okay! I finally found THE Hat. I have been searching for THE Hat ever since the movies "Crocodile Dundee" and the character, Mick Dundee, the cult classic Indiana Jones movies starring Harrison Ford (also of Han Solo "Star Wars" fame) and to a lesser degree, Michael Douglas as Jack Colton in another classic movie, "Romancing the Stone." All of the hats these characters wore are variations of the classic Fedora. But, I was looking for THE Hat! The Hat had to be hand made, of real steer leather and preferably from Australia.

I've looked at lots of hats over the years and while the more traditional baseball cap has been my primary hat of choice (those who are folically challenged, PC for bald, use hats to protect our heads from the sun and "brain freeze" during cold winters), I also own a couple really nice cowboy hats. But, I still wanted THE Hat. THE Hat would fill the basic utilitarian requirements just mentioned, however, for my lifestyle; I felt THE Hat would represent my feeling of freedom and adventure. So, I've seen hats that were close, but no cigar. I've seen hats that were closer, but too expensive. And finally, I found THE HAT at the right price.

Yep! It's hand made, it's real steer leather and it's from Australia. It resists the rain and keeps my head dry. It protects me from the sun and provides extra shading all the way around with the ample brim. It's durable, I can scrunch it up and jam it into a duffle bag or a backpack for travel, pull it out and it returns to shape. As it ages, it gains "character." I like the way it looks and I especially like the way it looks on me. And, finally, I got everything I was looking for and the price was RIGHT!

But, the deal was sealed when I began receiving feedback. My friends liked the hat. I noted people looking at me, not sneering or in ridicule, but with admiring glances. And the final deal sealer was when I went to the Costco I've shopped at for 18 years. One of the women at the customer service desk, who has been there all 18 years and has seen me many times, took one look at me with the hat on and exclaimed very loudly, "Where did you get THE Hat? I love it! That hat is AWESOME!"

So, behold, my Photo-of-the-Week this week is THE Hat! And, when/if we meet up one day, somewhere on my travels, I'll likely be wearing THE Hat!    


Linda Sand said...

Don't you love it when you finally find the right thing you've been wanting for so long? That doesn't happen very often. Glad you found YOUR hat.

Ed Helvey - Professional Nomad said...

Absolutely, Linda! Since simplifying and downsizing, I don't have all that many needs or wants - but when I truly need/want something - it will remain on my priority list until I find it - usually, at a price I'm willing to pay. Hooray for THE Hat! One more thing I can cross off the short list.