Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday was the kick-off of the Texas State Fair ("Our state fair is a great state fair!"). City Hall sent out a memo saying Western wear "was approved" for the day. Dallas.
I walked over to Main Street at lunch to watch the Texas Sate Fair Opening Parade. I participated in this parade a few times in the late '60s and early '70s, as a member of the Preston Trail Ride. We rode horses and wagons from Preston in Grayson County (a historic crossing of the Red River between The Republic of Texas and Indian Territory USA) down the old Preston Trail (pretty much Highway 289 and Preston Road today) to open up the State Fair every year.
On my stroll, I was wearing this J.B. Stetson 5X "Cattleman", my El Paso made (meaning, "real") Tony Lama kangaroo skin rodeo heel boots, a tooled belt with a handmade Pearl Beer buckle, and a starched Oxford cloth western Shirt from Cavender's.
Making my way to the parade, a father pointed me out to his daughter, saying, "Look! A real cowboy!" Well, no and yes. I've done it, but I don't anymore, and haven't in a long time (almost 40 years). But I paid my dues and earned the look.
Behind me is a slanted building designed by I.M. Pei, and a Henry Moore sculpture often used as a public urinal in the past by Dallas' homeless. Who says "art" serves no purpose?
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Some may recall my late, lamented John B. Stetson straw hat. It lives on as my yard-work hat, but it is not presentable for public viewing. I've been looking for a Western style replacement hat, but without luck (in my price range). But...
I made a barbecue expedition to Garland yesterday to try out a little drive-up called "Meshack's" (borrowing its name from a long closed South Dallas BBQ joint of some fame). It was worth the trip, and stands in my book right now as a top three BBQ spot in DFW. It's on Avenue B. Check it out.
Being out in the "Land of Gar" is a rarity for me, so I decided to make the most of the trip and swing by the Resistol Hat Factory and check out their outlet store. There it was, a Stetson 10X "Rancher" straw with side vents, in one of the two sizes that fit my cranium (a 7-5/8th).
I wore it to church this morning, and someone commented (looking at my sneakers), "Where're yer boots?" to which I replied, "It's a hat, not a costume."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I got this Ecuadorian straw hat several years ago from Orvis. One could call it a Panama if one felt so inclined... I don't.
The sub-fino straw was woven in Ecuador, and then made into a hat here in the USA. It's a "one size fits all" hat, and I have blamed that design (it's the elastic sweatband) for the odd transition between the brim and the crown. The proportions are off, or the crown is too high, or something. I've just never felt comfortable with it, eve though I like the general shape.
Any way, it's hung unused in my office. My old favorite straw died this spring (I think it's decomposing), so I set out to find a new straw hat for the summer (no pun intended). I'm giving this one another try after buying and returning a similar hat from Woolrich that was advertised as a "Panama-style" hat. The hat was from China, and instead of straw, it was made from woven paper. Back it went.
Financial constraints prevent me from ordering a Havana-style Panama hat, so this hat (much like the previous post) is getting a second chance.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
This is a toquilla straw hat from Ecuador, commonly called a Panama hat because of their popularity there as an export item during the years the Panama Canal was dug. The name stuck. So, it really is a "Panama" hat, but Panama hats aren't from Panama, but Ecuador instead.
I've had this hat for a few years, but never really liked it's "roll-up" style. This year, in need of a new, cool straw hat, I formed the crease in the front of the crown (it had been just a plain barrel). I like it much better now. But I really want one like my cousin Harry Truman wore.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
A Made'n Murhica pith helmet. The manufacturer's name is the unfortunate "Dorfman-Pacific". I say unfortunate, because I get looks like I'm wearing a "Dorkman-Specific" hat when I don this. But it's incredibly cool (ventilated), and I wear it when I am riding the Arched Bicycle of Canterbury (seen in the background). Helmets are required in Dallas.