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After and Before

Big Hats - 2013 and 2014 models

Big Hats – 2013 and 2014 models

The warm weather coming on means the time has come for the Big Hat wearin’.  Y’all know I am an advocate of the wearin’ of Big Hats down here in the Puckerbrush.   Crispy ear tops and blistered noses are bad juju and it will damned sure happen if you are doing that gate guard thing down here in the High Summer.  Now if you are still an internet gate guard and just mulling the idea over, wearing a Big Hat may seem over the top.  That is especially true if you live north of I-40. where Big Hats mostly just come out at night in conjunction with drinking cold beers.  Its’ a shame; that.  Down thisaway Big Hats are common every day fare.  I am guessing the I-40 and north folks feel self-conscious to wear a Big Hat to the grocery store or McD drive-thru.  I am just not talking out my butt on this,  I have corroborative evidence if you are wondering.

Wannabe gate guards wear me and Miss K out when they start gettin’ serious about falling off down this way to try their hand at gate guarding.  They got a million questions and we pay it forward week after week because this is how it should be.  One upon a time, we wore Bob the Texan plumb out asking questions about gate guard life and he was polite and gentlemanly throughout; wouldn’t be here if not for him.  So I tell all my gate guard friends to pay attention to the hats the local ranchers are wearin’ and then make a trip to the local feed or hardware store and pick ’em out a straw Big Hat.  That is the best way to go about things if you are a Big Hat wearin’ newb. Big Hats are sorta like a new pair of shoes.  The just right ones are mebbe gonna pinch your feet  or wear a blister on your heel before they settle in just right. Truth be known, I have never had a Big Hat that wore a blister on my head but I have had hats give me an almighty bad headache.  Straw hats wear in after a bit and they should feel just as comfy as your best old boots.   I know my size, brand and style that suits me so I am an Advanced Big Hat fella.

Miss K does the Big Hat

Miss K does the Big Hat

I prefer a Resistol 8 or 10X shantung panama hat from the George Strait collection in 7 3/8 long oval size.  Sounds muy complicated but it really ain’t.   Once you settle up on the right size, you just gotta get up off that pocket book and decide how many X’s of quality suit you.  That is why I tell ya to buy a feed store hat for starters.  Most of ’em are going to be less than $30 bucks and you get to test drive it right on your head.   Going all the way back to my bulldozer driving days, I figured out what suits me best and I stick with it year after year.  What ain’t broke don’t need fixin’.

Back to that I-40 and North deal.  I buy my hats off of eBay – used.  The hell you say, right?  Well, let me tell ya, a new George Strait Resistol is gonna run you $70 -$100 at Cavenders or another one of them cowboy stores.  I ain’t never bought a hunnert dollar hat and never will.   What you gotta do is troll the eBay till a good hat comes up and then snatch it.  If it goes like it has for me the past several years, chances are the description is gonna read ‘worn only once’ like to a wedding or Cowboy Ball or Halloween dress-up.  That, friends and neighbors, is the hat you be wanting and I’ll lay odds it will be from Yankeeland.  The hats to pass on are the ones that somebody has seen fit to scrunch up so they look worn in.  The only hat that is gonna look right worn in is one that has been worn.  Takes me a week or two and a coupla good sweats to even start  breaking in  a hat.

Big Hat + bulldozer ca. 2008

Big Hat + bulldozer ca. 2008

So, along about Christmas I started trolling for my 2014 Big Hat.   I bid on several and true to form they were all Yankee hats so I was feeling positive that one would eventually fall my way for the right price.  Sure enough, I ran up on a Texas-made Resistol that had been kidnapped to New Jersey –and never  worn. I repatriated that Big Hat for $24.35 all in.

 You know what the odd  thing is?  I will sell last year’s wore out Big Hat on eBay for around $25 most likely.  Folks can’t get enough of a genuine worn in cowboy hat seems like.   Don’t ask me what they would be doing with an old beater hat because I just could not tell ya.  Miss K says they use them for decor.  Probably up North too.  Imagine that.

 

 

End NoteThe Whale Has Swallowed Me by Janiva Magness from the Bury Him at the Crossroads cd.

I do believe the world got sick.

That is why I got these blues.

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15 comments to After and Before

  • Very nice story, told as only you can tell it. Never thought about buying a “used” hat. Very thrifty, indeed!

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  • joel

    I’m a headgear fan, too. Year-round. It’s been mighty cold here the past couple of months, so a felt hat provides a welcome cover from the wind and cold. In temperate weather, I’ve got a Greek fisherman’s cap to compensate for the vanishing hairline. And in the stark sunshine of summer, a wide-brim straw hat not only supports the melanoma abatement project, it feels cooler than exposed head, face, ears and neck.

    Oh, and a helmet when bike-riding, to protect what lies between the ears.

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    • Andrew

      With ya all the way Joel. Plus a hat covers up troll hair which seems to be an every day thing with me.

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      • joel

        These days, I’d probably settle for troll hair. I’m seeing more and more skin where the troll hair used to be.

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  • Rob

    I have to admit that I have never thought of buying a used hat off ebay, or selling one either.

    I did buy a ball cap at a Goodwill once in Littlerock, it says “Pureto Rico” on it. I needed a hat, it didn’t look worn and it was really cheap. I like to tell the story about the hat when people ask me about Puerto Rico.

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  • Miss Kathy

    That hat was custom made for me by an old gal in Roundtop Tx.
    She gave me a deal at $140. All custom leather wrapped. Very comfy. Way TOO nice for the daily dust of the oil patch though.

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  • Nice story. Been years since I was outside enough to need a straw. I moved to ball caps long ago. Big hat wearers hereabouts look pretentious to me. Went out to the garage where the last one I bought is hanging, decor-like, to see what it was. A long oval Bangora, made in Conroe, sold at Allen’s Boots in Austin. Allen’s is way too expensive for anything now, catering as it does to the tourists. Ebay, now that’s funny. But if it works, it works.

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    • Andrew

      Hey Dick,
      I care little these days about being circumspect. Without a Big Hat, I might just be another balding old fat man with velcro sneakers.

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  • Not to mention badly sunburned.

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  • Miss Kathy

    I know you enjoy it immensely when the rig boys ask you if I’m your daughter. Or are you my Grandpa or Uncle or Dad. Lol.
    Best take care of that fat. Hehe

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  • Monte

    The Texas sun will turn a skull into a broiler without a little shade up there! I wear a good hat that is weather appropriate year round, and usually wear a hat til it is just plumb wore out. I get some enjoyment outta watching the new summer hands who brighten up enough to get a good brimmed hat, but who don’t realize it takes a little bit of time to learn to wear the hat in the Texas wind. For the first week or so, I get to watch them chase those hats when the wind blows, or a truck goes by, watch them gripe and throw the newly purchased hat in the truck when they can’t get the hang of it. They can’t figure out how I can keep my hat on in high winds, and many don’t believe me when I answer it’s just a matter of practice.

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    • joel

      ” They can’t figure out how I can keep my hat on in high winds, and many don’t believe me when I answer it’s just a matter of practice.”

      My secret is duct tape.

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  • joel

    One way to wear a hat:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201870447434226&set=pb.1574513571.-2207520000.1396056509.&type=3&theater

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    • Andrew

      Good looking hat Joel. I like the old TCM movies because everybody wore hats.

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