Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hats: a Western perspective

When my LH and I first moved to Arizona in the early 80s, we quickly learned about hats. In the West, a man's hat, whether it be a pricey Stetson or a proletarian baseball cap, is Very Important. Too important, in fact, to remove from the head in most situations. For example, over coffee in a restaurant...


..at an indoors public event (hint: count the number of hats in the picture above)...

...or at a political picnic.

The husband, a seasoned debater, offered all manner of reasons for head gear; top of the list was the sun beating down on one's exposed noggin. (Yes, he insisted that I wear a hat of some sort when we went exploring. He, BTW, for many years wore a rakish Robin Hood-ish leather he found at the Yellow Front.) But that doesn't explain the wearing of the hat in the Red Lobster or mom's living room. She, of course, was brought up in the world in which gentlemen and young boys all doffed their boaters or derbies to ladies. And never, never wore a hat indoors. Big culture conflict.

Such niceties have long been forgotten or, perhaps, never existed in the West, where black hats...

...gritty hats

...and warm weather straw are all at home indoors.

In Prescott, we have one store on Whiskey Row that is stocked with an amazing variety of hats (and forbids picture taking -- these shots were all taken surreptitiously). If you like, you can even buy a Cat-in-the-Hat hat. Or a stylish cheesecutter. That's my Aussie bro below, with his new lid, purchased when he was last in town.

He saw no reason to buy a outdoorsman's hat from Oz over at the Outfitter's, but locals apparently like them.

Come to think of it, I do recall one occasion when hats were removed indoors. Twas a house concert out Williamson Valley way. I guess these expensive extensions of guys' egos were considered safe for a brief couple of hours. Go figure. I'm sure they'd never settle for the electronic cap described here.

13 comments:

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

As I recall, Mom's standard comment was that a man wearing a hat inside must either be of the faith of David or a Naval Officer.

Hermano

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

Me again. I just noticed that the famous three in the first shot had the same headgear on a year ago.

Hermano

worldphotos4 said...

I wore a hat in the Army for twenty years. When I retired I thought I would never put one on again. The sun has has convinced me otherwise. More so, now that my natural cover is thining (grin).

Granny J said...

bro -- their hats/caps change on and off, depending. This morning it was two hats, one cap.

steve -- Now, there's a good reason. But I'll bet you don't wear a hat indoors...

worldphotos said...

The only time you wore a hat indoors, is if you were armed. for example, an MP with his sidearm would keep his hat on. Now days, I'm armed with nothing stronger than a fly swatter.

Margaret Cloud said...

Now that is a large variety of hats, so hats off to you.

Granny J said...

steve -- more info that I wasn't aware of...

cloudy -- thank you, ma'am.

Anonymous said...

Love hats! Especially cowgirl hats!

~Anon in AV.

David SB said...

Surreptitious photos -- that's pretty edgy. I shoot food photos inside restaurants all the time, but would stop if asked to do so by staff. No-photo policies are usually pretty silly, though.

Granny J said...

sb -- I always shoot first & stop if politely asked. Agreed that no-photo policies are pretty silly. That's why you won't see any Smoki museum pix at Walking Prescott. Even when I finally do my museum shop post. BTW, you must be busy, what with the new streetcar system getting serious.

Desert Cat said...

Tilley hats! I have one and have had several over the years. They seem well-suited to the desert.

Granny J said...

dc -- not surprising, considering where they come from -- though I've never seen my bro wearing one...

Rod said...

Love your posts, but a bit of a correction might be in order if you will allow me to be so bold. Tilley Hats are actually Canadian not Aussie.

http://www.tilley.com/about.asp

 
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