It’s finally turned cooler and has therefore brought in hat weather.  My Indiana Jones hat that I had for cub scout leadership has, over the years, weathered from its cool “Loden” color to a worn gray color.  It had been many miles in the sun, wind, and rain, and had given up the hat ghost. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad except that the whole thing became floppy.  It morphed from Indiana Jones to Festus Hillbilly and had to be retired.  I used to look like I might be carrying a bullwhip.  In the end, I looked like I might be carrying a corncob pipe.  Fortunately I happened upon a replacement.  Hat that is.

My brother-in-law found himself with a free afternoon recently and dragged me with him to The Bass ProShop.  It’s a pretty interesting place except that he just wants to go stare at boats.  Boats are OK too but he stares way too long.  He’s got that stare that makes me think he would cross the line into crime to get his hands on one.  I don’t want to be around him when that happens.  I can imagine the guys in security watching the monitors and saying “Hey, look at this guy.  He’s been there a long time don’t you think?”

Anyway, while he was doing this, I wandered over to the “apparel” and discovered that they sold hats.

I looked all around and found one just like the old cubscout leader hat without the chin strap.  Well, I bought it straight away but that was in August so it’s been awaiting the proper weather.  Saturday dawned cool and clear and we had to attend the marching band competition Saturday night at Union High School stadium so I had my first wearing opportunity.

I have that fashion-blindness that has haunted me all my days; I’m just lucky to have women in my family who care enough to say “no” whenever I cross the line.  I donned the hat as we got out of the car and nobody said “No”.  I actually checked; saying “what do you think?” Mel didn’t care and Erin gave it the thumbs up.  In fact the friend she brought with her even offered the comment that it looked cool.  That’s a teenaged girl talking so that carries weight in my book.

The competition went on all day but we waited until the finals competition started before we got there.  That way we only had to sit and watch for four hours instead of all day.  These things are a pretty good value in terms of dollar per hour but only if you like to watch high school bands march and play.  One hour is about my limit.  Still, Evan has had a rough few weeks with all his schoolwork and obligations so we decided to go watch and be supportive.

The Pride gave their usual exemplary show.  They typically perform last and I always end up thinking that all the other bands are pretty good and then the Pride comes on and blows them all out of the water.  Their shows are in a category by themselves.  I have many gripes about The Pride and how much time and money it takes but I cannot deny the excellence of their show.  They won everything; first place and all the category prizes.

After the show, we went down onto the field to catch up with Evan and congratulate him.  He even commented on my hat – asking if he could wear it sometime.  Score!   Apparently it is customary for the winning band to form a concert arc and play an encore.  This they did without shooing away the parents and friends and so I found myself in the awkward position of standing on the field right next to a large performing band complete with flag-flapping color guard.  I was not alone and it was apparently no big deal.  There were hundreds of us standing down there.

It was pretty fun although it was getting pretty chilly by the time we headed to the car.   The hat doesn’t warm up my legs after all.

It was a late night for all of us so we slept in on Sunday morning.  Evan had gotten in way late Friday night and I had supported a missile launch most of Friday night (coming home at about 4:00 am) so we were all in need of some sleep catch-up.  Evan had to spend the day working on college applications, essays for same, and various other give-me-money-for-college projects. It was a weekend that has become typical for us.