The Last Straw…Hat


As you may know, I wrote a song called “Bad & Better Angels.” In that spirit, I have some “bad & better” news. You may also remember (and have certainly seen) my beloved Orvis hat recently repaired with a little upholstery thread. The bad news, as I found out the other day when a stray mesquite branch snatched it off of my head while cutting the lawn (if you want to call it that — this is TX, after all), is that what I thought was a failure in the stitching is actually the poly straw becoming brittle after years of UV exposure. So the thread is willing but the weave is weak. Bummer. This hat was also discontinued a year or two ago. MAJOR bummer.

So I set out to see if I could find a used one. To my surprise, a quick internet search revealed a link to the Orvis site in the results. I clicked skeptically as I know sites are often behind in pulling down discontinued items. But to my surprise, yet again, the site indicated my size was in stock. No other sizes, mind you, just mine. So I added it to the cart, half expecting an error to post. When none occurred, I hastily entered my payment information and placed the order. Then I waited…for the email telling me that there was a mistake and that the hat that had been discontinued 2 years ago was, of course, out of stock. Instead, I got a shipment notification. Could it be?!?

A few days later, a properly sized and shaped box arrived on the front porch and as I drug the tip of my knife down the tape across the top, heart racing a little, it gave way to reveal a quite perfectly identical replacement. I still couldn’t believe it. That same day, I navigated back to the Orvis site to order a backup. Nope. Out of stock. I got THE last one. As you can see from the pic, the new one reminded me what color my original lid once was before hours of shielding my face and noggin from the blistering sun. I’ll say I’m already putting it to good use traipsing around Hill Country and wading every blue line on the map.

As for the original? I’ll be ordering a proper hat hanger so it can serve out its retirement on the wall of my office as a lovely reminder of the veritable slew of adventures we have shared across this beautiful country. Here’s to myriad more! ????

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