Monday, April 9, 2018

A to Z April Challenge: H is for Hat


When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, we had to make many decisions about what to do with all the stuff. Which things are truly “valuable” and which have only sentiment in their favor? Should we sell it, keep it, or throw it away? To help ensure a future for our family’s heirlooms, I plan to leave a booklet for my daughters telling the stories of what they will inherit one day. (Not TOO soon, I hope!) With this challenge I begin my book of Heirlooms.




is for hat.

My maternal grandfather Orvin Davis was one hat-wearing man. I most clearly remember him in this felt fedora.

Grandma and Granddaddy Davis https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Lucille and Orvin Davis
However, it is a straw hat that had some kind of emotional pull that caused him and my grandmother to save it despite being broken.
 
Granddaddy's straw hat https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Granddaddy's hat

Granddaddy Davis's hat closeup https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Closeup of where the hat is broken
Granddaddy owned the hat at least as early as 1925. He and his cousin Ben Davis showed off their sons both born that summer. 
Davis cousins and babies 1925 https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Ben Davis and Ben Jr.
Orvin Davis and Orvin Jr.

















The boater Granddaddy was wearing was the perfect summer hat handwoven with thick straw. The inner band even promises that the hat is “Cool & Comfortable.”

Champ hat liner https://jollettetc.blogspot.com


No matter who made the boater, a striped ribbon hat band was typical for the style. Granddaddy’s hat was made by Champ and was marketed as a mid-range item, probably costing no more than $7. Currently on eBay, a vintage Champ boater is going anywhere from $38 to $102. Both are in far better condition than mine. 

You can't put a price on sentiment.

Wendy
© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

18 comments:

  1. I need a hat these days - to keep my bald head warm.

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    1. HA - probably why my grandfather wore one too.

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  2. I too need a hat for a bald head - I just wish hats like these were still fashionable!
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2018/04/09/h-is-for-den-haag-the-hague-netherlands/

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    1. Go ahead, start a trend! Thanks for visiting.

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  3. Awww I too remember my 2 grampas in hats. What a treasure!

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  4. I remember my grandfathers and my father both wore hats, but I don't remember any boaters. In fact, it has been on a blag recently that I first learned what they're called.

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    1. I had forgotten the term "boater" myself until I Googled Champ hats.

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  5. Well, that hat has been a 'Champ', and lasted all these years even with a dent. I have one of my Dad's Stetsons that looks like it's been worn hard and put up wet. Heirloom Hat...good one!
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. I always thought "Stetson" was strictly a cowboy hat, but I see lots of nice fancy Stetsons too.

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  6. In the 50's and 60's, my dad wore a hat to match his suit every day to work. And then they sat in the closet for years and years and years. When he died, my mother donated them to the local Civic Light Opera for use in their productions. While it felt good to give them to an organization that really appreciated them, I wish I'd kept at least one as an heirloom. Then I wouldn't have to worry about an "H" when I do the A to Z challenge. Ha!

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    1. I hear ya on the issue of regret! But I'm sure your packrats left plenty of H things to write about. LOL

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  7. I have plenty of photos of my grandfathers in hats, but not the hats themselves. My mother is wearing a fantastic hat in a photo that I wish she had saved, so stylish. And then my grandmother's cloche hats in the 20s. Hats are great heirlooms, very evocative of a certain time.

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    1. Yes, hats can create quite a little timeline.

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  8. I like your idea of writing stories about heirlooms so the next generations know the history. I've save the Mama's favorite hats and I still have one of the Daddy's. Even with stories behind them, the next generation wouldn't care. But then maybe their children might.

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    1. You're right. You just never know who might care.

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  9. I must admit I never thought of hats as heirlooms, so I have none passed down to me. At least I have photographs to,remind me of my mother and sunt’s fondness for hats.

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    1. Oh yes, your mother and aunts had lovely hats. My grandmother always had a new one at Easter, and I know she had a mink hat for winter. But pictures are rare.

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