Felt crusher adds style to collection of hats


Karl Terry

Some folks recognize me by my hat. I’ve decided that’s not a bad thing.

link Karl Terry

I wear a lot of hats, both figuratively and literally, but the hat that always gets comments is the one I wear in the winter. It’s a brown, 100 percent wool felt crusher hat. The kind an Australian drover would wear. In an area where there are lots of cowboy hats this is a little different and gets noticed.

I bought it of necessity. When I moved to Colorado I wanted a warm hat that had a little style and kept my head dry when big wet snowflakes started falling. I had a plaid winter cap and a down camo hat with fold down flaps that looked like something Radar O’Reilly would have worn. My wife didn’t approve of me wearing either of them anywhere someone might see me. The crusher hat filled the bill or actually brim.

After a season wearing that nice wool hat I figured I needed something in a similar style in straw for summer. While trying on straw hats I learned something I had never realized about my head. It’s pretty big, especially front to back. On most straw hats once I get it to fit front to back I have enough space along the temple to slide three fingers into.

I finally found the perfect one at a sidewalk sale at Jean’s Westerner in downtown Montrose, Colo. I don’t wear it as much as the crusher but it keeps the sun off on a summer day.

After wearing my crusher for a few years I decided I might need a new one, so I was trying them on in a store one day. The black one I liked fit well but about that time a fella walked by and told me black hats were for young guys. I quit shopping right then and still haven’t replaced it nearly 15 years later. It’s a good hat.

Both my granddads wore hats, but my Granddad Cummings wore a Stetson felt hat nearly every day except to work in the summer when he wore a straw hat. He wore that Stetson cocked at an angle much of the time and it looked good.

Dad wore a few straw hats, but mostly he wore feed caps when he worked. I grew up wearing feed caps or ball caps and didn’t feel fully dressed without one, so switching to a hat was a real break.

I think dad must have liked my crusher hat because a few years after I started wearing one he bought one too. I never saw him in it much and skin cancers may have been his reason for buying it. I have it on my hat rack now and wear it some. I also have a white hat with a “Great Gatsby” look that my Rotary Club dressed everyone in one year for a themed event.

Mostly I wear the brown crusher in winter and one of a plethora of ball caps during the summer. My favorite ball cap is the one that says “Jesus Said Go Fishing” and the scripture verse Luke 5:4.

If you see me somewhere without my hat in my hand (or on my head) remind me because I must have left it somewhere.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: [email protected]


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