Wednesday, December 26, 2007


We've been blogging buddies for a couple of years. Colleen and her husband Joe are both multi-talented. Joe, according to Colleen, "...helped to start a a local oral history program for teens, is a soccer coach, went to Asheville four times this year to help my son prepare for and build his kiln, does four kinds of martial arts, chops wood, hunts, plays golf, takes me to the ocean in our camper--and has a full time job." He wears hats all the time, too.

For a sneak peek of even more of her hats, visit her blog. Colleen's a talented, published writer whose charm and skill is regularly displayed on her friendly, eclectic blog. She's a Scrabble player par excellence, a photographer, a poet, a story-teller of the highest order, a small town girl (Floyd, VA) with friends around the country. And she likes to dance!

Unfortunately, she thinks hats are just props. Just props? Naw, I don't think so. Without this leopard hat, she'd just be another pretty face.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Darling Again--Washington

I promise—I didn't copy these pictures from any of those Christmas catalogs. Darling's mom let me use them. I believe that Darling has a love affair with both cameras and hats, don't you?

And Darling's Mom knows how to take a picture, too, doesn't she!?!
Merry Christmas.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007


Turns out that Dorene and I are relatively close neighbors. She and I were pawing through a stack of Christmas cards the other day, each trying to find the perfect box. We spoke a little at each other a time or two, when finally I could contain myself no longer.

"I like your hat," I said.

She turned softly toward me, the way a Princess turns to acknowledge someone. "Do you really?" she replied.

"Yes, ma'am. Do you wear hats a lot?"

"Not really," she replied. "But you know, with this wet, rainy weather—[pause]—and I'm in and out shopping today—its just so much easier than an umbrella."

"Well, I like it," I told her. I explained my blog and gave her one of my cards.

She leaned toward me and, out of the side of her mouth, quietly asked, "Where's your camera?"

"Out in the car. Hold on, I'll go get it." And out into the cold I went for it.

"You're serious about this aren't you," she said when I came back. "What will your wife say?"
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For the record, My Wife thinks this is a "cool" picture.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


You meet the nicest and most enthusiastic people when you're out walking. Just as I finished the last long walk of my season (Nov 3), here came Di and her companion, just getting ready for a walk. Well, would you look at her hat?

Naturally, I chased them down and asked for a picture. She graciously said, "I'd like that." Di was a charm! Pretty as a princess and as friendly as can be. And it's all in her eyes. After I took the picture, I gave her my card (it has my blog URL on it) and invited her to take a look at the other folks. You know what she said?

"I'll do that. And I'll pray for every one of them, too."

I'm just sure there will be hats in heaven.

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Friday, November 30, 2007


Last summer, just a day or two before school started, I walked past Alex and some friends who were busy in some hot, noontime skateboarding. On my next lap around the park, I stopped and asked if I could take pictures. The others were a little shy, but Alex said, “Well, if you want a picture of someone messing up all the time, I’m the one.”

“Do you wear that hat all the time?” I asked. “It’s pretty nice.”

“Yeah. Mostly.”

It's an expensive cap with all the NFL team logos on it.

Actually, she pretty good on a skateboard. She’s unafraid, she’s fast and she can do several skillful things. She's better on that thin little rolling board than I am with my camera. I couldn't catch her in the air.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

My First Wife--Kansas

She really doesn't like to wear a hat. I don't know why. Every hat that ever got plunked on her head has made her look cute, sexy, young and thin. When she puts a hat on, I can't resist grabbing my camera. This picture was taken on the evening of our 44th Wedding Anniversary.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Fair Lady—England

My First Wife and I recently attended the play, “My Fair Lady.” What a performance! That play is full of wonderful hats! Better yet, it's full of wonderful junior high and high school students who performed it. They played in the orchestra, too, and did all the stage work, and—oh, we’re proud of those kids. All of them.

These are not the best photos because I took them—without flash!—from the back of their small auditorium. Nevertheless, we’re proud of these hats…er, kids!

Eliza Doolittle and Col. PickeringPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Freddie Eynsford-Hill, Eliza Doolittle, and the Colonel again.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Ascot “crowd.” Look at those hats!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And the young man, third from the right, is our grandson. Uh-oh. Now you know why we went to the play. But really: you shoulda been there.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mill Creek Trail--Kansas

When you go out walking on one of Eastern Kansas' many trails, you meet the neatest folks. Like this hatted family that was out being a family together. Bless 'em.
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And then this Mommy was carefully leading her girls across the road and on up the trail. All three of them smiled at me and said, "Hi." Bless 'em, too.
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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Eric and Steve--Missouri

Ever seen policemen filling their motorcycle gas tanks in a public gas station? Well, I pulled into a gas station the other day and two of them pulled in next to me. Eric and Steve. Steve's the one filling his gas tank.

They're really not policemen; they're rent-a-cops and were on their way to escort a funeral procession. I talked to Eric a minute. He said they're both proud of their jobs--and their hats.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Katy and her parents were on vacation in Wyoming when this picture was taken. Katy's in 4-H and working hard to earn her first horse. All little girls should have a horse—and it looks like she's ready for one.

Oh, by the way: her hat features those awesome "stampede strings."

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Saturday, October 20, 2007


I met Dean one evening about four years ago when I was out walking. Since then, we’ve run across each other several times and developed a fine friendship. I suppose I’ve seen him a ka-jillion times out on one sidewalk or another, and I’ve never seen him without his hat, without a smile or without his little dog, Lucky. We always pause for a “…how ya’ doin’?” chat.

Once I saw him driving away from the grocery store. I didn’t know he could drive a car, because he has MS or MD; I can never remember which. That doesn’t keep him from doing what he enjoys: walking Lucky two or three times a day. Dean and Lucky will stay out about a half an hour at a time or until Lucky gets tired. Then he jumps up onto Dean’s scooter for the long ride home. Lucky is blind.

What a world we live in! Lucky can't see, Dean can't walk; but they can go around the block together! Dean and Lucky make life inspirational for the rest of us, don't they?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Darling—Washington State

One of the most fun blogs I’ve run across is Tracey’s at Carpenter Creek. She’s always got something interesting up her sleeve. (I think she must have two sleeves, cuz she has more fun and wacky ideas than the Spanish Inquisition.) It's a great blog.

She has some good-looking kids, too. And she knows what to do with the business end of a camera. So natcherly, a pretty girl and a good camera always go well together. She sent me these pictures of her daughter, Darling, who wears a Hat quite well, don't you think?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mike with mike—Missouri

My oldest grandson Mike is an actor and performs regularly with Christian Youth Theater. This picture was taken immediately after the play/musical Tom Sawyer, makeup still in place. Mike played a secondary character this time, and if you look closely, you can see the mike taped to Mike’s right cheek. He earned the coveted “Screwball Award” for adding a little levity to his role. But you can trust me—his proud granddad—he’s no screwball. The kid knows what to do with a mike. Aptly named.

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Yes, every hat has a story, and this hat appeared in six performances on top of my grandson’s head—not to mention rehearsals. Mike made it look good, didn't he?

Friday, October 5, 2007

"PacMan" and "C"--Connecticut

When I began blogging 4 years ago, Wordwhiz is the first blog I put on my blog roll. Since then, we've become good friends. She said, "I want to play, too!" and sent me these neat pictures of her two teenaged kids.

"For some reason," Wordwhiz said, "my 13-year-old son 'PacMan' has a fascination with the beatnik generation. Not too long ago he and his sister "C" put on these hats. The transformation from small-town-kids-next-door to far out, groovy hippies was captured on film—or should I say, digital memory card?"

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Every hat has a story and in this lower picture Jack Kerouac's stories come to my mind.

Wordwhiz has another son who wears a military helmet. Pray for him. If he hasn't gone overseas yet, he will be going soon. Oh, and give Wordwhiz a visit. She's terrific—and she knows how to write.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jamie Dawn--Arkansas

My blogger pal-ette Jamie Dawn took a five-day driving trip with her dad, brother, and son to enjoy the World's Longest Yard Sale. It’s 450 miles up and down Highway 127 from Alabama to the north part of Kentucky.

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The day was a hot one, so her dad bought hats to provide shade from the scorching sun. This picture was taken at Noccalula Falls; Gadsden, AL last August. Jamie Dawn's son passed on his grandad's offer for a hat, but agreed to take this picture of his mom, grandad, and uncle—looking "ridiculous."

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Jamie Dawn, her dad Jim, and her brother Jason

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Julia and Joe--Massachusetts

Julia and I are blogging buddies. She's a runner; I'm a walker. One of these days, she's gonna come to Kansas and run in the Heart of America. We both enjoy gourmet dinners and excellent wine. Somehow or another we connected and read each other's blogs. Graciously, graciously she sent me these two pictures. They were taken just moments after she finished The 2007 Boston Marathon—her fifth one.

In the first picture, her husband Joe is presenting her with a bouquet of roses at the finish line. Joe had already finished the race, went home for a shower and a change of clothes, stopped by a florist for the flowers and then made it back to finish line in plenty of time to cheer for Julia. That's Julia in the white hat—still huffing and puffing.

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In the second picture, Julia's a little more composed, thinking, "This man is a keeper!"
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Julia also has an affinity for bucket hats.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lyph and Vince--Missouri

Pictures are worth how many words? Father-son pictures like this don't come along very often. Vince is giving his son Lyph his first fishing lesson. And fishin' ain't fishin' without a hat, right?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Ralph is an excellent story-teller, photographer, golfer and all-around upright man. Many months ago, before I had my Hats blog, he made the mistake of publishing this picture. I told him what I was about to do and he said I could use the picture. So we can say that Ralph is the first contributor to my Hats blog. Thanks Ralph.

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Then his daughter got married recently and just before he walked her down the aisle, our friend Cliff Morrow snapped this picture. Right in front of a magnificent Colorado Blue Spruce. Ralph cleans up real good, don’t he?

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Daniel and Andrea’s Outdoor Wedding—Illinois

Some months ago I ran across The First Hundred, a family-friendly blog of the highest order. Daniel’s mom uploads quite a few pictures at a time—mostly family. And I’d say 99.9% of those pictures are pre-packaged with the most delightful smiles you ever turned your head at. Their’s is a happy Christian family, a well-balanced family, a self-confident family, a joyful family and all the new brides and grooms who come into it bring more of the same—plus the cutest little grandkids. It’s a great blog. Go visit.

These pictures were taken at Daniel’s wedding about five years ago. Being black and white adds a touch of class.

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See, look. Smiles all around. “…it was a last minute whim…” to wear those hats. That’s Daniel in the middle, Dad on the left and Mom on the other left.

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Now, knowing what’s behind the scene—a wedding—this is one romantic picture. Where’d they go? There must have been a dance floor somewhere.

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Well, hats or not, everyone's smiling. You can just feel it.—July 2002

"Blessings. Be fruitful and multiply your smiles—and your hats."

Friday, August 31, 2007


Remember this picture? From April '04, it's one of my favorite pictures of my grandkids.

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Well, Darby's growing up and hanging out at the lake. That hat is still with her. Cool, huh?

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Monday, August 27, 2007


Sue, aka Mom, sent me this picture of her mom, taken in 1945. She was ready for church. On the back of the photo is only says, "Byrtle's Hat." It was a proud Sunday morning, I'm sure.

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What did your mother/grandmother wear to church—on her head? Lemme see.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Darby and Mari--Texas and Missouri

Darby and Mari went to Disney World together last summer.

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I love my darlin' granddaughters! In a few days I'll love my other darlin' granddaughter!

After that I'll love my darl--er, grandsons.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Brandon--All Over

One hot afternoon recently I was exiting from the freeway and saw a man down by the stop sign. He hurried across the street in a pretty nifty hat. I had to drive a half a mile before I could turn around and look for him. I found him, too, up under the freeway, sitting in the shade.

I parked and ran across traffic and climbed up there with him. I asked if I could take his picture. "Sure, go ahead," he said. I have such a good new camera that he never knew when I tripped the shutter. "I just came up here for a little rest and a cigarette."

We talked for about 10 minutes. He told me he was from "All over!" He had walked from Belton, Missouri, to this spot since 7 a.m. That was about 8 hours and 14 miles ago, and "I've still got 12 miles to go." He was on his way to "...see about gettin' a job down on Front Street."

The best part of our whole meeting was, "I sure do appreciate you stopping and talking with me. Nobody ever does that. Thanks a lot, man. A picture of my hat, huh? I've had it for two years. Worn it everywhere." I got blessed by this homeless and sunburned young man and I hope I see him again someday.

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Friday, August 17, 2007


There’s a new employee where I work who has a new baby girl. Her name is Elsa.

“Elsa!?” I exclaimed. “I just finished writing a story about a girl named Elsa.”

“Really?” New Employee asked with a big, wide smile. “There aren’t too many Elsa’s around.”

I gave him a copy of the story (and it’s a good story) and he took it home to his wife—and little Elsa. Not long after that there was a pretty picture of Elsa on his desk. I asked him for it for my Hats! blog. He gave me three pictures of Elsa. Welcome her. She’s only been here a few months.

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Elsa (with the Hat) and her mom, Rebecca.
It's her first time at a swimming pool.

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Elsa snoozing

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Elsa. Her hat is a skew and her door is a jar.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


What do you do on a peaceful evening in Emmett, Idaho? You rope wild women and you kiss pretty horses. Or you could go to a rodeo.

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Monday, August 13, 2007


I couldn't resist taking a picture of these "doods." They were at the National Bike Rally, a motorcycle rally featuring about 40,000 people in Kansas City, MO. While they're not really wearing hats, I'm willing to make an exception this time. Of course, they're not really people, either.

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Friday, August 10, 2007


Matthew was in line ahead of me at the supermarket deli. Lunchtime. I asked if I could take his picture and he said, “Sure.” He called his hat a “Tam O’Shanter, but without the button up here in the middle.” I thought it was a beret, but he knows better than I.

“Do you wear it a lot?” I asked.

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“All the time! I used to have a wool one, but I wore it out, so I just got this a little while ago.”

We talked some more while we waited for our orders. Lo and behold! We work in the same industry; we used to work in the same building; and we have a couple of mutual friends. They don’t wear hats, though.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


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Vicki and her retired friends faithfully play tennis every weekday from 10 till noon in one of the prettiest neighborhood parks around. Vicki is the ringleader. Actually, they let anybody play
retired or not. One of the friendliest people I ever ran across, Vicki never met anyone she didn't like. Her smile and her face define her: lots of character; lots of integrity; lots of friendliness, lots of "vim and vinegar." Her visor defines her morning activities. (July 2007).
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Monday, August 6, 2007


Hats off to Herb who was the first person to send a picture after reading the rules. Thanks Herb. He said that his daughter took this photo. She sure made him look good, eh?

Two interesting things about Herb: first, not only was he the first person to send a picture, he was also the first person to see my new blog. And he found it sorta by accident, liked what he saw and sent his picture. "I like hats!" he exclaimed. Second, I think he's a preacher or a youth pastor.

He has a nifty blog that all good people should read and enjoy. Stop by and tip your hat to him.

By the way, just today I bought a hat like his.