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  • Writer's pictureM. Virginia Southworth

My Favorite Hat

As a hat aficionado, I have quite a number and variety of hats. I especially love woolen hats and Irish tweed hats. Whenever I travel, my wardrobe is centered around the hat that I am in the mood to wear. It is great fun. It might be a beret or a newsboy or it could be a Ushanka. Then colors are coordinated with a coat or jacket and a skirt.

I usually opt for a pillbox hat for the airplane. I love that old Pan Am Airline stewardess look. I guess I am a frustrated flight attendant. I have a shirtdress to prove it! Then, a casual hat is in order because I am so accustomed to wearing hats, that I need a comfortable one in which to recline my head. In fact, I wear a toque to bed as the house cools down when the fire in the wood stove wanes.

Hats are great because for this "bobby pin queen", that is, someone who does not do anything with her hair, they sure come in handy. They add panache and a dash of sophistication covering my otherwise hat head!

I guess it started back when I was 9 or 10 years old and I wore a red baseball cap. My brothers loved baseball and I did too. The lady at one of the local department stores, Mrs. Shaw, always commented on my red baseball cap. Then she would smile. I always wore that hat. In the winter, I donned hand knit wool toques or stocking hats which were popular in the late sixties.

Then, one day, this then sixteen year old, was visiting her grandfather. He was sitting in his rocker, smoking his pipe. Then he got up and went to the closet. He pulled out this hat and he told me to try it on. It was a leather hat made from sheepskin and it had real sherpa on it. It was a floppy hat with a tan string of rawhide around the crown. It had a tag in it that said 'Handmade by Fuzzie's Fur, Hinsdale, N.H.'. Though I believe that my grandmother ordered it out of a catalogue from Casco Bay, Maine'.

Grampa told me that Gramma had ordered it special for him.

Then, he told me to try it on.

I did. Grampa said, "That is yours now."

I got up full of glee and proceeded to walk down Champlain Avenue donning my new hat. The hat is very warm and it is also very packable.

Many kind folks have given me hats as they associate them with me. One of my old neighbors gave me a mink hat when I was 18 years old.

The mailman's daughters love hats and they like to play dress-up. I put some hats in the mailbox for them he other day.

I love all my hats, but I think that the hat that Grampa gave me nearly fifty years ago is my favorite.

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