Pass the Hat

The other day I had to say goodbye to a close friend. It was tough to leave them, but the memories we made together were the stuff of legends. We had only known each other for five or six years, but off the top of my head, I cannot remember being so attached to anything else during that time. They were always there for me when I needed them close to me. They never complained when I may have mistreated them, or left them out of important events. Although I always had the sense they always looked down on me, they never judged me or made me feel small, and for that I thank them.

Finding a good travel partner is not an easy task, but we got along so well, we travelled all over together. We saw some amazing sunrises and sunsets, took thousands of photographs, and explored so much of Maui together it won’t be easy to revisit places without them with me. I knew someday we would eventually have to say our goodbyes, but seeing their body bent and broken the other day was too much for me to take. The truth set in when I realized the life-ending injury to their spine was inoperable. I wasn’t sure what to do for you at first, and I may have reacted poorly, I freely admit that, but I hope they can forgive me eventually. For now, I have to try and put them out of my mind, to move forward, to remember the good times better, and to forget the bad times faster.

It is time to start a new chapter in my life, and for once in a long time, I won’t have them with me to protect me, keep me warm and safe, or shield me…from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

You may know them as flat caps, newsboy hats, cabbie hats, ivy caps, golf caps, and even driver caps. Whatever you choose to call them, they are my choice to cover the top of my head, and remain fashionable (since I am such the fashionista). I have an affinity for flat caps. And when you find one that fits perfectly, you get emotionally attached to it. One of my favorite caps finally broke from so much wear and tear that I had to throw it away the other day.

Fortunately, I have a spare for this exact reason.

Over the past nine years or so, I have picked up quite a few caps, trying to find the perfect one. I am always surprised and delighted when I see these caps in major department stores, usually hidden in some far corner, waiting to be rediscovered by members of society who refuse to wear a baseball hat, fedora, or even a sorting hat (Harry Potter reference).

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A few things I look for when trying to find the perfect cap, besides style and size are:

  • Does it have a snap on the brim? If it does, I move on down the line. I am not a fan of this feature.
  • Does it have a knob or button on the center top of the cap (think of that little nub on the top of a baseball hat)? Again, not a fan.
  • Is it made by Kangol? I do not enjoy the look of this brand, made famous by actor Samuel L. Jackson (although I am a fan of his acting and I respect him for having great taste when it comes to style of headwear).
  • Does it poof up on top, or is it level and even? I do not like the Jiffy-Pop look on my head.

Once I find the perfect cap, the designer has my business for life…or until they change their style, go out of business, or I can no longer find their hats. The cap I recently said goodbye to was bought here on Maui, from a local store, so I could not have been more fortunate. My Maui Built flat cap is not in stock too often at their flagship store (they don’t even try to stock it at other locations), so when they have my size, I tend to pick up a version of the one I like as a backup (whose obsessive compulsive disorder looks silly now?).

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The new cap is ready to take the place of my old one. I just need to figure out how to dispose of my old friend. I was thinking of giving it a Viking funeral pyre and setting it ablaze as it drifts along on a small wooden boat, but I will probably unceremoniously just toss it in the rubbish bin.

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Vincent Lorusso Written by:

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. - Jackie Robinson

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