Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev


Dad usually wore this hat.

Dad usually wore this working hat.

When you put on a hat, you take on its character. Children put on a cowboy hat and pretend they are riding the range, or a helmet and pretend to be headed for space. A woman puts on a Victorian hat and feels more a lady.

   My Dad always wore a hat. Before leaving the house, he’d pick up a hat and with a snap of his fingers, place it on his head. Each time a different hat appeared on his head, Dad’s personality seemed to change.

Dad dons his felt hat.

Dad dons his felt hat when he gets dressed up.

   Most days he would grab an old “hunky cap” when heading for work at Cambridge Glass Company or on the farm. “Hunky” was a term used disparagingly in the early 1900s to describe the men from Hungary and Czechoslovakia who did manual labor. This flat hat with a snap on the bill was worn most often. When wearing this hat, his demeanor usually became more serious.

   Going to town on Saturday or to church on Sunday, a different hat would appear. Wearing a white shirt and dress slacks, Dad always donned a gray felt hat that dipped slightly over his right eye. That gave him a debonair look in my eyes. I’m sure he felt like a handsome gentleman when tipping his hat to the ladies.

Dad wears his straw hat with his two favorite girls.

Dad wears his straw hat with his two favorite girls.

   Every time we visited, this well-mannered fellow removed his hat in the house and would place it on the couch or chair nearby. Children clamored to sit by this storyteller, but he’d warn them, with a shake of his finger and a wink of his eye, “Don’t sit on my hundred dollar hat.”

   When summer arrived, Dad dressed in yet another hat. This time it was a Panama hat to stay cooler in the hot summer sun. He always smiled when wearing that hat. Perhaps the warm summer days brought happiness, or maybe this time of year held delightful memories, but he always walked with a spring in his step when wearing that straw hat.

   No matter what hat Dad wore, his face always wore a smile.


Comments on: "The Personality of a Hat" (12)


    • Dad worked hard to make a living for our family. Still he liked to dress in a white shirt and hat when going someplace special. Fathers Day seems the perfect time to recall these wonderful memories.

  2. I too, always wear a hat when I go out. Your father looks like a fine man. Glad you have good memories of him.

  3. Beautoful post!

  4. What wonderful memories of the days when men dressed like men, hats and all, and women dressed like women, hats and all! My father was a plumber, yet he wore his white shirts and hat. My great-aunt always wore a hat when she went out in public, along with her gloves. You brought brought back sweet memories a bygone era. Thank-you!

    • Glad that it brought back some happy memories. That’s perhaps one of the reasons we enjoy dressing in hats and gloves at Dickens Victorian Village.

  5. Evelyn Dearth said:

    I remember those good old days Bev. My Dad used to wear hats also. He always tilted it on one side.. Good memories.

  6. As your dad did, my dad was also a hat wearer. Your memories and photographs made me smile and think fondly of my own father.

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