#9 THE HATS or A GOOD THING MY HEAD IS SCREWED ON
I have a hat we got in Australia in 1997, the traditional Akubra kind. Inside it says “Made in Australia, for Australian Conditions: Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter.” There is even a picture of a kangaroo wearing one. There is also a label with my name and address, telephone number and e-mail.
Around the outside there are dozens of pins. Pins from places I’ve been, and places I haven’t, brought by family or friends or even strangers who wished to add one of their own.
There are balloon pins, volunteer year pins, pins with messages, and just plain fun pins. The big one on the back says “Water Is Life” in English, Spanish, Navajo and Hopi. It takes up a lot of room, but I think it is important so it stays.
These days that hat stays in the closet because it has no more pin-room, and is very heavy to wear.
So I asked my Australian cousin to bring another one when he visited us. And that became my new pin hat; my signature. People often said “I didn’t recognize you without your hat.”
Until I left it under a chair in Los Angeles Airport last May. Big trauma!
My name was in that one too. If you out there have it, I’d like it back, please – with the pins!
This is now my Family Hat, the pins bringing us all together; though it has already started accumulating new pins from friends.
And people recognize me once again.