Wow, what a weekend! The circle took off first thing Saturday morning for Leadville...by way of Fairplay and Buena Vista. The weather "guesstimate" was all over the place all week but by Friday night they figured out that there might be some snow somewhere in the state on Saturday. We found it about 6 miles outside Denver at about 6500 feet altitude. This was a big weekend however and we had four wheel drive vehicles so we weren't about to turn around.
First stop was Fairplay. Fairplay is another small old mining town about an hour southwest of Denver. In addition to the great history and location, it is also home to Colorado Mountain Hat Company, the birthplace of both "Two Timing, Too Tall's" and my custom cowboy hats. We wanted to stop by and get our hats "tuned" up by the proprietor Smitty. We...or at least I was hoping that "Guitar" John would take the plunge and order a hat for himself. You will notice in previous posts that Two Timing, Too Tall and I have been harassing him for not having one for some time. After about 5 minutes in the store, dang it if he didn't say "I'm gonna get one!"... AND he said it out loud.... AND we all heard it so there was no backing out now.
That was probably the easiest part of the decision. Deciding to buy one that is. Now he had to choose the type of felt, the size of the brim, the shape, the color, the hat band. All of this with five "helpers". This was my kind of event. He was at our mercy. The picture at the top of the page shows just a fraction of the different combinations of size, shape, color and whatnot.
Guitar started off by being real conservative and looking at something that he could wear "anywhere". The picture at the left shows this "vanilla" look. The five of us hooted and hollered that if he wanted something he could wear "anywhere" he may as well go to J.C. Penny's. After all if you're going to buy a custom COWBOY hat it ought to look like a COWBOY hat, not some wimpy, bland nothing!
Well then, we got him off of that ridiculous trend and at least got him looking at other stuff. Guitar can be a slow study however, and while he gave up "ungodly" bland he was still having a hard time with the concept C O W B O Y hat. 'Course we were right there to help him in his time of confusion.
Ever so slightly in his defense....it can be confusing. Especially if you have questions about your true identity or personna? I'm not saying he does but look at his eyes in these pictures. Does it look like to you that he has a clue?
Guitar finally did himself proud and picked out a real COWBOY hat. If you're thinking you're gonna see a picture of it right now you're wrong. It will be at least ten weeks before his hat is "born" and before anything Guitar has to submit to the "conforminator". The conforminator is a mechanical device that was a common tool of haberdashers in the 1800's and up until the early part of the 1900's. They are now very rare.
The purpose of the conforminator is to to provide the haberdasher with a "map" of a persons head. A map that makes a hat, a custom hat. It does this by tracing a reduced scale outline of the subjects head to a piece of paper. Once Smitty does this he has a paper file that documents your head for eternity because while the rest of your body may change over time, your head remains the same. That can be used in the future to make more custom hats if you so desire. Smitty told us he has elaborate security procedures for protecting this important and very sensitive data and in all his years in business no one has broken into that cookie tin.
So Guitar has finally ordered his hat. He now has ten weeks to wait to see the product of his...I mean OUR choice. Ten weeks to consider if he has made a gigantic mistake on the style or color. Ten weeks to consider if he will look like a fool wearing OUR choice. Ten weeks to think about how much he spent to maybe look like....well you know what I'm trying to say.
Don't worry Guitar, I think you made the right choice. You will look absolutely precious in your new hat. After all anyone that has a head shaped like the one below can't help but look like....well you know.
There's lots more to tell about our trip but I'm on the road right now and time is limited so I'll have to do this in several posts so stay tuned.
Thanks for visiting!