My Hat


My hat is green.  It’s wool.  Very sturdy.  It keeps my head warm in the winter.  It keeps my head dry in the rain (like today).

I’ve had this hat for about twenty-five years.  The leather band inside is held in by a couple of threads.  I sewed these threads some years ago.  The originals are long gone.

I had another hat, exactly like this one, that I bought in Austria in 1976.  I was with my father and my mother when I bought that hat (my father certainly paid for it).  We had a good laugh over that hat.  I wore it.  In the early 80’s, I lost it.  Luckily, Tapi — my former exchange student/brother/roommate — was living and working in Austria.  One day he called and I asked him to please send me a Tyrolean hat. He did.  The feather is long gone (probably the first year).

In our early years together – my hat and me – it was a novelty. Perhaps a fashion statement.  I was younger then, more concerned about my image – and did not wear my hat that much.

Once, the school at which I taught celebrated “hat day.“ My hat won high praise from the seventh and eighth graders (kids have always loved my hat).  However, I had worn the hat because it was a cold morning.  I didn’t know it was “hat day.”

The fashion and novelty wore off years ago.  Now, it’s purely a hat.  And a damn good one.  I have other hats – and I’ve worn them from time to time – including a cap from Britain and a toboggan that proclaims my alma mater (for cold ears on long walks in winter – but only when it’s on the bitter side).  Mostly, though, I only wear one hat.  This one.  It’s the best.

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