Headgear

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When men wore hats:  D.D. Rullman, Larvin Rullman, Russ Rullman, in appropriate headgear

I am of the opinion that men should wear hats, and I’ve been needing a new one, which has caused me to think about hats and headgear much more than I normally would, and perhaps even more than is appropriate, given the number of unattended items piling up on my desk and elsewhere on the rancho.

I’ve worn a hat for as long as I can remember.  Ballcaps, cowboy hats, and for a while I sported a desert fedora, which now, much abused, has been converted into my fly-fishing rig.  Wearing a hat probably does not make me, or anyone else, a better human being, but in general it seems that the trend toward grown men running around uncovered has coincided with the collapse of serious manhood and grown up behavior.  That’s bold, but I would argue that these issues are linked.  Where one line on the graph goes up, the other goes correspondingly down.

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A field of hats, in the valley of manners

Speaking of hats, the good people over at the Zapatopi Skunkworks have been doing some excellent research and development in the field of tinfoil hats.  Sometimes its helpful to look at the whole hat conundrum with a fresh set of eyes, and they have certainly provided us an alternative view.  Spend some time perusing the site.  You will learn how to build your own AFDB (Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie), some use and maintenance tips, and the site also includes an excellent academic treatise in response to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology anti-AFDB study.

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A proper hat is a highly personal choice, and a reflection of our soul

These days I have reverted to daily wear of my buckaroo hat, which for the uninitiated is a flat brim with a telescope crease.  Straw or felt.  And last friday, because my old felts are beginning to fall apart, I went over to Gene Baldwin, of Baldwin Hats, and got fitted for a custom job.  This was my first experience with the conformateur, which is a strange device Gene sticks on your head to determine its actual size and shape.  I’m happy to report that I do not have any irregular buboes, bumps, lumps, or knots, and that a grand new felt will be mine in a few weeks.  Gene reports that he is very busy building Longmire lids, after the success of the television show, and a sudden inexplicable crush of midwestern bankers who simply must adopt the look.

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Sombrero, with obligatory crossed pistolas

Over the years I’ve endured a lot of grief over my preference for a buckaroo lid, but I earned the right to wear one, and so I do, even if the Texans, who have gone all in for that taco-shaped contrivance they call a hat, can’t quite come around to the natural shape and beauty of an actual working cowboy’s kit.  In the long view, it’s probably better that they stick with those strangely mashed-up wicker baskets they wear, since it makes distinguishing them from afar so easy.

I’m kidding, of course.  I couldn’t care less about the shape of a man’s hat, or what material it is made from, so long as he is wearing one.

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The Longmire Look

There is an entire sub-genre of this hat business, which is in the area of helmets.  From unwieldy roman parade helms to the infamous pickelhaube, but I don’t have time to get into all of that.  Jim Cornelius tells me that he has finished a new song, and I’m on my way down to the office to give it a listen.  That’s a distinct privilege, of course, so I will wear my very best hat for the occasion.

 

  1. I like hats but I think they should come off indoors.

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    1. I agree. It’s all the old, easy, dignified protocols. Tipping a hat, removing a hat during the national anthem, all of that stuff. These aren’t hard things, but I really do think they lend some much needed dignity.

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      1. adventuresfantastic February 15, 2016 at 11:57 am

        Agreed.

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  2. adventuresfantastic February 15, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    And speaking of aluminum foil hats, I’ve got a story.

    We adopted our son from Kazakhstan a little over 11 years ago. He was 2 1/2 at the time. The we started home, we got to the airport in Almaty at dark-thirty for a 12 hour flight to London, with a brief refueling stop in Yekaterinburg (where we weren’t allowed off the plane).

    Anyway, the plane had three seats on each side of the aisle. I had the window, my son the middle and my wife the aisle seat. Just as all the doors have been closed and the plane is getting ready to taxi to the runway, the man seated in the other aisle seat on our row, i.e., across the aisle from my wife, begins to line his hat with aluminum foil. My wife, who had lived a somewhat sheltered life before she met me, was somewhat alarmed. I thought she was going to hit the ceiling, even buckled in. The flight attendant asked him what he was doing. According to her (their exchange wasn’t in English), he was trying to protect his brain from radiation. Not sure if it was ordinary radiation or from space aliens. He then produced a sheaf of papers papers photocopied from a physics journal and began to read. Having a Ph.D. in physics, I was tempted to ask him about them, but my wife wasn’t too keen on drawing the guy’s attention.

    I found the whole situation vastly entertaining. My wife not so much.

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    1. This is a terrific story. He may have gone overboard on the AFDB website, or perhaps he is actually behind the whole thing to begin with. This tinfoil thing is apparently worldwide, and not going anywhere. I used to encounter a lot of transients in the act of “disturbing” who lined the inside of their clothes with tinfoil. It was from one of them that I learned about the “jammers” and “repeaters”. Some folks go in for the foil in order to jam signals, other use it to boost signals they are receiving from various outlets. And once, I answered a call for service where the reporting party informed that she had a radio implanted in her female parts that would not stop broadcasting Nixon speeches. True. Very odd world we are inhabiting. Thanks for sharing this.

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  3. Mr. Rullman’s readers should be aware that the Figure 8 think tank has actually pinpointed the tipping point into our current state of precipitous social decline to that very moment when men stopped wearing hats as a regular and necessary piece of attire.
    Like the innocuous-seeming scratch that allows the bacterium to invade a healthy system, the removal of the hat allowed the insidious penetration of Cultural Marxism, the product of the Frankfurt School, which seeks to destroy Western Civilization from within though a systematic breakdown of values — primary among them self-reliance and the dignity of the individual.
    It may be that simply reversing the sorry trend of bareheadedness could reverse the decline. Further inquiry into this promising field of study is required, but even at this early stage, it seems safe to issue a policy recommendation: Get a good hat and wear it. The fate of Western Civilization is in your hands. Or, more precisely, on your head.

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    1. “…the sorry trend of bareheadedness…” that’s it precisely. I suppose at some point the insurgency will actually arrive here in force, and the only thing available will be pith helmets. Pshaw!

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  4. I grew up wearing a hat. My dad required it. Fortunately, he like me wearing cowboy hats. Now that I am bald, I wear a hat to protect my skins from the sun, however, my dermatologist always finds something up there and burns the crap out of me. “You should’ve worn a hat when you were young.” “I did, plus I had hair.” Hair apparently doesn’t provide enough protection.

    Well, before my Bodie horse trip with Dave Stamey, I decided that I needed a new hat. In fact, I did the full monte and had a custom one made. It wasn’t too expensive, and it is a work of art. It fits my bony head like a glove. It is a pleasure to wear all day. If you gonna get a new sombrero get a custom one. It is worth the money. Then at the Monterey Festival, RANDY RIEMAN convinced of the pleasures of custom-made boots. “I have great boots,” says I. “Try some custom-made one,” Randy replied. He gave me the name of some folks in Reno. Let me tell you, these boots are unbelievable. By the end of the day, you don’t even feel like pulling them off. I got my wife a set too. She loves them. I guess as we get older, we owe ourselves a few pleasures. Hats and boots are a great start.

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    1. I’ve yet to go in for custom boots, but I think that day is approaching. I know there are some truly fine bookmakers still getting it done. Bodie with Dave Stamey…must have been fantastic.

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  5. Hair loss from a recent chemo adventure has given me a new passion for hats, which now occupy a lot of my closet/wall space. I dig the “Longmire” look, most closely mimicked by my Akubra “Snowy River” hat that I bought in Melbourne many years ago. Hats rock!

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    1. I don’t think you can go wrong with the Longmire. That’s a classic touch. Gene Baldwin tells me he sends more than a few hats out Australia way as well. I also like very much that these hats are accumulating some fine names. Snowy River is excellent. I’d someday like to meet the man who actually rode that horse over a cliff in the film. Epic.

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  6. Love hats wear them everyday , cowgirl hat baseball cap, storm hat, beanie, tam yup got Em all even a fedora love my hats

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