Welcome, all you readers, to the first post typed with two hands since my March 9 arm surgery. Just received clearance from the physical therapist to turn my left palm down enough to touch the keys; hurts a little, but hey, you’re worth it. Thanks for reading.
So let’s celebrate with one of my favorite topics: Hats.
A few weeks ago, editor Hasso Hering, himself a headwear devotee, asked if I’d be interested in a collection of four fedoras being offered to him by a long-retired colleague of ours, ad man Sam Suklis.
“Why don’t you want them?” I asked. “You like hats.”
“I like hats,” Hasso replied with his usual directness. “I like my hats.”
Anyway, I sent Sam an email and said I’d love to have them, and he was equally happy to have me have them, and thus did he promptly deliver them to the DH.
Three of them, Sam told me, had belonged to his surrogate father, a Lebanon barber named George Peterson. George had come to America from Greece, in steerage, with Sam’s dad, arriving in 1904 at Ellis Island. Both “men” were 14 years old at the time, totally on their own.
Sam’s father, sadly, died young, and George, honoring a promise to his friend, stepped in to help raise him.
Two of George’s hats, which Sam guesses date to the 1940s at the latest, struck me as particularly cool:
I’ve basically decided the first one has sort of a Tom Landry feel to it — btw, were I a football coach, I would totally dress in a coat, tie and fedora, a la Landry, Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, etc. — and the second one I liken to Butch Cassidy’s dressier look. What do you think?