Hanging Up The Hat
Everyone knows that a Rancher is never without his hat. Nor does a cowboy ever put his hat on a bed, or let anyone else touch it without a fight. Old rules but very alive today in Cowboy Country.
A cowboys hat is more than just to decorate your head. Although I look pretty dapper in mine. It is made for using, a tool of the trade. It shades you , and if tipped just so can keep the dirt out of your eyes, when the wind blows. It is a weapon when need be, and when slapped on a horses but can often achieve a desired result or it can be waved and used as a shield from an angry momma cow.
But there comes a time when you must hang up your hat for reasons that are beyond your control. I am doing just that. It is with great sadness, that my cowboy days are dwindleing.
They tell me I got a real bad ticker, and I probably won't have many years left, and sure won't be able to do the things I am used to doin. Told me I have card-e-o-my-opathy. If I was younger they said I might get a heart transplant. Now I am not sure if that would be a good idea. I don’t think I want a monkey or pig heart like I’ve heard on the TV. Could make for some pretty entertaining stories though. He he he
I am now stalled for a while. I can see out the barn door,and just now have to sit here board and if I have anything to say about it I will be out there again riding the pastures.
I will tell you a little story here about a hat and give you the opportunity to have a piece of the Western Tradition something that is becoming lost in this great country.
The Hat Story
This Hat has been a good one, I got it a few years back(about 6) at Christmas time. I went into Lou Talberts in Casper Wyoming one of the few places they still sell good, hats. I looked at all the ridiculously shaped hats, the hats they sell these days are not shaped to keep the sun out of your eye in the morning, or the rain from running down the back of your neck. I looked around with some sadness, in my heart at a time that was slippin away, when the only time most folks put on a Cowboy Hat is to go line dance at some bar.
Well I looked around and felt the hardness, and the quality of hats. When a Rancher buys a hat it will set on his head till it no longer sheds the sun or the rain. Then comes the day you have to start all over again and break a new one in.
A good hat will last longer than most peoples marriages these days, so i looked each one over. Seemed to me Resistol had better quality hats than Stetson that year at least in my size and crown height and brim style i like. I tried a few on and finally settled for the one you see in the picture.
Louis Talbert himself was working that day and said that they would get someone to shape it. I asked if I could do it myself, no one can shape a mans hat like he can his self.
He agreed and turned on the steamer, now i mean to tell ya that thing would plumb peel your eyebrows off if you stood to close. It was way better than the tea kettle I use at home. So I laid the hat over the steam and waited a minute or two and promtly burned my hand when I went to shape the brim, so I didn't leave it over the steam so long the next time.
It took me about an hour to get it just right. Course some of that time was spent looking at it from every angle in the mirrors. If my wife had that set up in her boudoir she wouldn't have to put me in a pickle every little bit by askin how she looks she could see the front, the back, both sides ,and the back looking at the front.
Anyway after I shaped it I paid the woman at the till , which was my life savings. Well worth it though for a good hat. I jauntly left the store, and headed for the pickup parked a couple blocks away .
Patty and The Hat
Just before Christmas that year our Border Collie Male(Hound) and our McNabb female (Riley) became the proud parents of a litter of 6. We rapidly had homes for all but 2 of the puppies, that was fine since my Dad decided he wanted one and I decided to keep the other. We named them Patty, a big rugged, mostly black pup and Panda a more feminine slick border looking pup. They were a pair.
One night I was walking along a fence, there was about 8 inches of snow on the ground, and i was dawdleing along lookin at things the pups were way out ahead playing and getting into things as pups do.
All of a sudden i heard terrible yipping, howling and carrying on. Riley took off, and being a Cowboy I did the best I could. Cowboys don't run. They have horses for such times as they need to hurry, or pickups for long jaunts. But i took off at a faster pace to be sure. Along the trail Panda barreled into me barely stopping and went right on for the house. When I got around the corner there was a coyote and he had Patty in his jaws. I threw some sticks and he ran off a little ways but didn't want to leave his supper.
When i bent down and checked her she was out cold. I pretty much figured her for a goner but I propped her up in the trail, and went after the coyote. I was boiling mad but he just went off a ways and laughed at me like they do.
When I finally gave up and got back to where I had left the pup she was gone. Gone I couldn't believe it no wonder that coyote was hanging around there was another one and they played me for a tenderfoot. Well with a big chunk of my heart hurtin I headed for the house.
The dogs were already indoors and my wife with the gun was headed out my way. We had been having Mountain Lion problems and she thought maybe that was what happened.
No I told her the coyotes had got Patty and during my sad tale, she interupted me. "No Patty is in the house" she said you could have dropped me with a feather. I was shocked. I really had figgurd her for a gonner.
So we went in and it was decided to take her to the Vet, which we did and she was wrapped up like a little mummy dog but would be alright they said. Now why things happen on Sunday night is a mystery to me. That there vet bill was double what my new had just cost me.
So about a week later, we were out to a nice sit down place to eat. I decided to leave my hat in the pickup. The pups were in the pickup learning how to ride, and if we left them at home they would destruct the place. So we puppitized the truck or so we thought and went in to eat. When we came out Panda was asleep in the back seat. I opened the front door looking at the seatbelt that had been almost chewed in two and then when my eyes caught sight of Patty I nearly had heart failure.
There was that "poor pup" as my wife had taken to calling her( mind you I had names of my own) curled up inside my new hat. Her butt setting right in the crown and her head dangling ove the brim. That hat was brim full of pup that was about to be put on my list. Now everbody knows in these parts that you don't want to be put on my list. I picked that pup up and just as I was about to give her what for she looked me in the eye and whimpered. Well that was that and Patty had the honor of putting the first ding, in my new hat.
It is slightly humerous today but then it was not funny at all. So Patty is the cause of the crinkles in the brim of the hat. And a couple of tooth marks as well.
Perhaps Chris LeDoux tells it best how a Cowboy feels about his Hat.
What about the Hat ?
Now you may be wondering where I am going with this tale? Well I have been told that many people will buy old western gear. So I decided to see if anybody would give me anything for "The Hat" Now I don't reckon you would want to wear it . It is a 7 5/8 long oval. But maybe you want to hang it on your wall. The missus thinks this is a crazy idea but you know how them women are, never see the value in things if it ain't new. So I decided I would try this here internet thing, and see if anyone would like to buy my hat. With the help of the neighbor boy we fixed up this purty page. We was going to try e-bay but it was kinda hard to figer out for either one of us. So I decided to write a little story and see what happens. Now I don’t know much about this internet stuff. But seems to me some of these kids is doin alright. So we will see what happens maybe me and Josh(the neighbor kid) could go into business and sell this here Ranch one piece at a time.
You can bid on the hat in the box below. I will be checking back here and I am going to leave this open for 2 weeks about. On (extended to)Oct.30,2007 I will be shipping off the hat to the highest bidder. Now bear in mind what ever you bid will have have $5 added for shipping. I ain't rich, and since this heart thing, I need every penny I got. So thats it and the time starts now.
High bid right now ................Jim from Georgia $35.00 posted 9-22