June 2, 1007
The suite is sweet. Kathy and I just came up from the pool (actually three pools with a "Lazy River" that simulates a Salt River inner tube float). Tomcat has invited his friends, Rachel, Monica, Bob and Bill over to celebrate his last weekend in the states. One of them, Bob, is going to Iraq in about ten days. I enjoyed talking to him about his training and all of the latest IED training (some of it top secret stuff). Kathy and I finally gave them the space and came back to the suite to take a nap (ha!).
The Hat Score, So Far
Since I have a bet on the lineage of the Buck Taylor photo, I am reticent to peg a date on it, so I asked one my expert photo guys what he thinks:
"I don't know Taylor's lifespan but the entire costume is a caricature. From the exotic fringed leggings to the hat. The giveaway would be the holster design. It appears he has his name gilted on the upper and middle loop. I say 20th Century. But regardless this image is the equivalent to showing John Wayne decked out in duds and saying, ‘see, here’s how cow-boys dressed.' Buck Taylor and Wayne were both entertainers and tall ones at that. THE hat for the majority of the 19th Century was the small round crowned flat brim of various makers and colors. They wore it at the Alamo and on the Goodnight-Loving."
I think it's pretty safe to conlcude that the Buck Taylor photo is from the 1890s, or later. Still, I intend to buy Johnny Western a free lunch, regardless of the outcome. He did get me going, challenging the status quo and I always appreciate that. I think it's interesting that Ed LeRoy believes one out of twenty hats had a rolled edge. That's a higher percentage than I have ever believed. But his logic is hard to refute (cowboys picking up their hat off the ground would naturally roll it).
All told, I think we have been too hard on movie makers, and we have created a narrow fantasy world that is lacking cool headgear based on our fanatic beliefs. And if you don't believe me, just read the comments (mine included) for the past week.
"Hats off to ya."
—A polite Victorian person, oblivious to our obsessive tastes in headgear
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