Men folk of all ages in these parts like to wear ball caps. Nearly every male I know wears a ball cap from time to time, if not most of the time. Joe, Jeff, farmers, laborers, males young and old wear ball caps. My dad always wore a ball cap and my grandpa Miller wore something similar–an engineer’s cap.
The main purpose of a ball cap is to shade your eyes from the sun, but they have become much more than that. Wearing a ball cap is like having a small billboard on top of your head. Their message can make a statement, advertise a business or advertise all sorts of products, show your pride and support for your favorite team or organization, and even show where you have been or where you would like to go.
We have lots of ball caps around here. Joe has quite a collection and some of Jeff’s old ball caps are in the basement. Plus I have most of my dad’s old ball caps.
A ball cap collection seems to be inevitable for guys.They somehow seem to multiply. Guys start out with one ball cap, pick up others here and there, receive free ones as advertising, and pretty soon they have a collection. And ball caps are difficult to part with. There is a bond between a man and his ball cap.
Most men have their favorite ball cap. It is the one that is frayed, worn, and soiled. It is the one that fits and feels the best. The ones below are in pristine condition and were probably never worn, but they are still favorites.
My dad had several vintage ball caps from the area that are reminders of bygone businesses, places and events. Below are a few of the ball caps we have around here.
I’m sure this ball cap was one of my dad’s favorites since he had coffee at the Chatt Bar nearly every morning. He was truly a member of The Chatt Bar Hall of Fame.
My dad usually attended the Chattanooga Farmers Picnic and took Jeff there when Jeff was a boy.
I don’t remember this Caffee business. Maybe one of you will help me remember.
Motor Inn is a popular truck stop in Mercer, known for their good food and coffee.
My parents liked to go to Las Vegas and usually stayed at Westward Ho.
My dad purchased his tires from Zurcher Tire.
Here is one of Joe’s flashy caps from his former employer, GTE.
I have several ball caps myself. I sometimes wear a ball cap if I am having a bad hair day. I also have a few visors. Women seem to favor a visor over the traditional ball cap, but I’m not sure why. Maybe they don’t want to have their hair mashed down by a full-cap.
Joe gave this Reds ball cap to me.
I remember one thing about my dad and ball caps: my dad did not like seeing a ball cap worn backward. He thought they should be worn as they were intended, with the bill shading the eyes, not the neck.
These ball caps bring back many memories.
How about that Mickey Mouse hand I got from Disney World or the collection of sombreros I used to have. Do those count for this article? I bet those are somewhere in the basement still 🙂
Sorry, but Mickey’s hand and the red sombrero do not classify as ball caps. Nice try, though. And yes, they are in the basement. You should have the large sombrero somewhere. Remember when you took it and used it for a Halloween costume when you were at OU?
Interesting that you should mention bad hair days. While we seldom think of men being concerned about such things, the truth may be that hats have a lot to do with ego and hair. My father too almost always had on a ball cap. In fact he often wore it in rather embarassing situations, ie times and places polite men would remove their hats. It was not until one time that I quietly suggested that the hat should come off, that I finally realized that the hat was a cover for the receeding hair line and clearly noticeable bald spot in the back, issues that most of us might find natural or normal, but clearly embarassing to some men who attach a certain “manliness” to their hair. Then too, once you have put on the hat, taking it off can be awkward as the common phrase “hat hair” suggests, especially on warm days or when moisture around the band tends to reshape the hair form. Of course the women in our lives are always the first to point out that the hair is a mess and “laugh” at us. Amazingly insensitive and poignant comments that would be severe issues if the roles were reversed, ie man loudly and laughingly pointing out a lady’s distressed hair appearance.
I think your observations are correct. It is amazing how a small cap can hide all sorts of problems.