Happy National Hat Day.
I have many hats. Some are plain functional; some are fashion statements. But whether functional or fashionable, all hats serve a woman living in the South. The southern sun will bake you to leather if you don’t take care.
Functional hats: Most people call them baseball hats. When I lived in Texas, we called them gimme hats, because most of them were free handouts with various company logos – gimme one of those please. I’ve never bought a one and I own many.
Not my favorite hat, but they are useful in my life. They shield me on my morning 5-mile walkabout from the sun’s summer rays, falling acorns and pinecones, and from the errant bird relieving itself from a tree branch or on the fly. I’ve worn them on the tennis court, playing water volleyball, Frisbee golf, gardening and more. They not only shield me from the sun, but just as important, they keep my wild naturally curly hair in check.
Fashion and function: My battered Fedora gets the most compliments, but it serves me well in winter. It keeps my head warm, protects me from the winter sun. And, as I hate umbrellas, it and my London Fog take the brunt of rainy days. Berets and Boggans are for the coldest winter days when the sun rises late and walkabout is over while it’s a hint on the horizon, and when the sun sets early and I have places to go.
So much of life in the south takes place outside: barbeques, weddings, receptions, fairs, Doo-Dah Days, Art in the Park, Parades, and on and on. So, I have a selection of straw hats for summer wear; my outback vented canvass hat; and I have fancy hats for weddings and dressy parties.
I am grateful to a lady I met when I was very young. I’ve long ago forgotten her name, but not her words, “Take good care of that pretty face. Clean it well, moisturize and above all else, wear a hat to protect it from the sun.”
Yes ma’am. I’ve been hatted ever since.