Thursday, August 10, 2006


Exhibit "A"

I am often accused of never throwing away a hat (or much of anything else), and I have to admit that on the surface, the evidence looks pretty damning.

I introduce the photo above into evidence as Exhibit "A", proving that not only do I throw things away (including several notebooks on Satan's handiwork: Theology, and an early MP3 player), the court will also notice a HAT.

Not guilty.

The Old Man lives!

Here's a 6X Shantung that I got on Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff/Dallas. Worth-Walden Hat Company. When you walk into the place, it's like stepping back in time to 1950. Again, the classic "Rancher" style I prefer...even rarer in a straw.

I don't know if Worth-Walden is still is business. They were among the last of their kind a few years ago when I got this hat, and the owners were getting pretty old. I need to go check, because if they are, maybe I'll take my felt rancher and my Dad's to them for reblocking and restoration.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The attack captured!

Hosea Foster Downing, caught in the act of snatching Pop's hat. He was ready, but the camera wasn't.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

As LBJ imitator.

Cruising the Texas Hill Country, behind the wheel of a Lincoln Town Car, ca. 1994.

The featured hat was made by Manny Gammage at Texas Hatters in Austin (then) in approximately 1975. Gammage later moved his shop to Buda, and now to Lockhart (where I think his son runs it).

When I asked Gammage to make this hat, he remarked, "Only old men and Mexicans wear hats like that!", the first part of which explains why I wanted one. I grew up calling this style a "Rancher's hat", but it became known as an "LBJ" due to Lyndon Johnson's preference for the style. Stetson calls it an "Open Road". I noticed that Texas Hatters now calls it a "W" after the current Resident of the White House, however, I've never seen "Mr. All Hat and No Cattle" wear a hat like this, prefering the more flamboyant styles made popular by Hollywood.

It is my intent to take this hat and a similar Stetson of my Dad's to Texas Hatters for complete refurbishments this fall. I will make damn sure they don't put "W" on the ticket to indicate style.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pop's! Hat!

The aforementioned Panama.

The pheasant headband came off a 30X Stetson straw hat I wore out. A City Councilwoman noticed my hat one day during a meeting and said, "Oh, I saw one stained just like that in a store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills."

Mine didn't come this way. I sweated the details.

(However, the 30X Stetson straw that I wore out did come from Neiman-Marcus...their flagship store in downtown Dallas, not Rodeo Drive. It was at a Last Call sale, marked down from $150 to $25.)