The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 15, 2000

Features

Hats

I keep thinking about hats. Do you have a memorable hat story? I do, and I'll tell you about it later.

Hats surely have changed during my memory. It used to be that ladies just didn't go out of the house without their hats. Firmly perched upon one's head, secured with either a lethal hat pin or about a dozen hair pins or sometimes bobby pins. Does anyone even know what I am talking about? Hat pins are those long pointy things that people collect and women used to use to secure their hats, and in an emergency, their virtue. Bobby pins and hair pins are what fall out of your grandmother's head and land on your car seat.

Ladies hats covered your hair, the veil covered your eyes, and sometimes the whole thing covered the movie screen. Hence the saying, "Lady, will you please remove your hat".

Nevertheless, ladies hats were elegant, they gave you a boost, and they helped to define your identity when you left the house. Shapes, sizes, colors, materials, designs, each was magnificent in its own right. It took hours, and sometimes days, to select just the right hat. "'They" used to say that if you needed cheering up, just go buy a new hat. I don't know who "they" are, but some people really believed that it was true,

Today, ladies hats just aren't the same. Except for sun hats, we rarely see them at all. I must add that in our church we have a "Ladies Night Out" once a month, and at our last meeting each year before stopping for the summer we have a supper. At this supper all of the ladies are supposed to come in hats and gloves. What a combination of styles we get! It really is a giggle,

Men used to wear fedoras like Dick Tracy; bowlers, like John Steed, and straw hats called boaters. Alas, today it seems that the best that the men and boys can come up with is a different baseball hat each week. Usually they are worn backwards, and personally I think that they glue them to their skulls because they never take them off. Inside, outside, at the dinner table, watching TV, in the theatre, in church, in school, probably even in the shower and in bed. I just assume that those hats are either glued on or that they are all hiding their bald spots.

Now, for my favorite hat story. One Easter Sunday, back when I was in high school, my two cousins and I adorned ourselves with straw Easter bonnets, with lots of fruit and plenty of veil on top. We really thought that we were at the height of style. The three of us went for a short walk, between Sunday School and church. We had a break of half an hour, and we wanted to be sure that no one in the immediate vicinity of the Church missed our lovely adornments. Well, there we were, just strutting along as only teenagers can strut, when suddenly my cousin, Becky, immediately to my right, stopped dead in her tracks. She blurted out words that I had never before or since heard her say. It seems that some pigeon had scored a direct hit. Right in the fruit salad. Have you ever tried to clean an Easter bonnet, a now very fragrant and sticky bonnet, in a sink in a church basement? It never occurred to us to just discard the hat. The hat had to be worn that very day, and so it was.


2000 The Carlisle Mosquito