I’ve never tried to be a collector, but sometimes you collect things by accident.
In my case, it’s hats.
I had to get rid of several hats recently, but I still have sixteen of them, with various stories about how I got them.
Here’s some of the most interesting hats and their stories:
Roma and Italia
My family lived in Europe for many years and frequently traveled to other countries.
We visited Italy in 2004, and I brought these hats back as souvenirs.
Italy continues to be one of my favorite locations in Europe, with its unusual architecture and food.
My dad bought this for me at a Washington Nationals game we attended in Washington, D.C.
Looking back, I have to admit I don’t remember what actually happened during the game, but you’ve got to have some memento of your first baseball game.
Latourell’s Moose Lake Outfitters
In 2014, I went with my father and some of his friends on a fishing trip to Minnesota.
During that trip, I learned 3 things:
1) Minnesotans really do have interesting accents.
2) You can catch and cook crawfish very easily.
3) You can have an enormous amount of fun with a group of good friends and some canoes.
I acquired not one, not two, but three ball caps when I worked for a landscaping company.
This is partly because a manager gave everyone a new hat on his first day.
I’m pretty sure I still have some fluorescent shirts from working at that company too.
Strangely enough, I worked for Walmart for a while but didn’t get this hat until much later.
One of my siblings dressed as Sam Walton for a school event and didn’t want the hat when they were finished with it.
One of these days I should drop back into the store wearing this hat and see if anyone remembers me.
It’s amazing what you can get at White Elephant gift exchanges.
About five years ago I attended one such party and got two presents.
The first was a coffee pot lit (not the pot, just the lid), the second was a book titled “12 Hours to a Great Marriage.”
I ditched the coffee pot lid, kept the book for another gift exchange, and managed to get this from another attendee who didn’t want it.
The Hat Rack
By the time I had twenty baseball hats, it became clear I couldn’t keep them all in a box.
So my dad suggested I build my own hat rack.
To do so, I took two pieces of wood, drilled holes about six inches apart and then covered the pieces with wood stain.
Then, I dropped by the nearest Hobby Lobby and looked for the most interesting hooks and doorknobs I could find.
The biggest cross-shaped piece hangs lower than the others because the top rack is actually hanging upside down.
Some time I really should look into getting that fixed.
Note: all images used in this article were taken by me. I hereby release all the pictures of individual baseball hats into the public domain, since they show logos that I do not own. Please contact me before using the other photos.