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For several decades I’ve been in a relentless quest for THE Hat. The definitive topper that was made for me. The one causing people to exclaim, “Now THAT’S you!”
I first acquired fashion consciousness after perusing the sartorial sections of my dad’s hidden Playboys and was also heavily influenced by the TV series “The Untouchables.” Vests became my signature look: corduroy with satin backs, in five different colors, one for each day of the school week. Occasionally, I would switch to a gold paisley one, coupled with my pegged khaki chinos and the latest trend in Thom McCanns. I was the only white cat wearing vests at Taft Senior High.
Yet, I never found THE topper. Oh, there were the requisite ball caps, and the snap-brim British driving caps. Recent years have found me trying dressier gray hats similar to those worn by James Bond. Cowboy hats, resulted in a phony, somewhat touristy look. Straw hats fared no better.
Finding the Ultimate Topper
Two years ago, I visited the website dedicated to the ship I served aboard in the Navy and ordered the USS Cony ballcap. Not because of any degree of patriotism but more as a souvenir of good times had and of good friends I made, some of whom I maintain contact with to this day.
I needed a hat with a bill because I face the sun each morning as I walk the dog. I wear it each year to “The Golden Corral” for my annual Veteran’s Day meal. I wear it when my hair is not behaving. And I wear it because I look pretty darn good in it, if I do say so.
I’d been keeping my hat on a hook next to the door. When the hooks became taken over by face masks and dog leashes, I relocated my hat to the top of the refrigerator. Towards the end of last year, my cap went missing. I searched throughout the house. I called restaurants I had recently visited, getting negative responses every time. I went so far as to pull the refrigerator out from the wall to search behind it. All I found was the sacred grounds where all plastic rings and bottle caps go to die, after the cat is finished with them. Finally, accepting defeat, I anticipated being blinded by the sun.
Mike Wright has just received his 3rd stimulus check and will be ordering his replacement cap later this week. If you have his original, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.