My grandfather always wore a hat — not a cap like you see many farmers wear today, but way back then, he wore a straw hat during nice weather and a heavier yet similar type of hat in winter. I think he also had a nice hat that he seldom wore ... it would have been the same hat he put on when he had to wear a suit and tie, which was next to never.
I remember exactly where he hung his hat in the old farmhouse — right next to his coat on a hook that was too high for me to reach. I remember climbing up on a stool to take his hat off the hook and then proceed to wear his hat around the house, until he’d had enough of my antics and made me take it off. I loved those hats, and even today, if I close my eyes, I can still smell my Grandpa’s sweat-soaked straw hat that was his (and my) favorite.
I spent hour after hour with my grandfather, and one thing that sticks in my mind is how he would always remove his hat when he entered a building. Going into the bank, it was the first thing he did when he walked in the door. Actually it didn’t matter where he was going — the corner grocery store, the drug store, the gas station, a restaurant, the insurance man’s place ... even the feed store — Grandpa’s hat always came off his head the minute he stepped a foot inside the establishment. Most of the time he’d carry it the whole time he was inside the business, however, if his hands needed to be busy, he’d hand that hat to me to hold for him. It sounds silly, but as a little kid, I always felt so proud to be the keeper of his hat.
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