Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Project Cubbins: Hat 129 - I've Got a Crusher on You

Day 129 / Hat 129: Vintage, red, 100% wool crusher with faded red hatband. Gold printing inside crown reads: "Made in U.S.A. Genuine Effanem 100% Wool Crusher."

This was in the birthday box of hats my sainted mother sent a few weeks ago. If my instincts are correct, this is the selfsame crusher I had as a young lad living in SNAFU Hollow many moons ago. (I'm currently awaiting confirmation of the provenance from the aforementioned mother.)

My bestie Bill Harrison and I each had one of these some three decades ago, and they were as seemingly inseparable from our heads as we were from each other. The best feature of these hats was the fact that no matter what happened to it, livestock trampling, sudden downpour, accidental night of binge-drinking in a converted bomb shelter, it could always be slapped back into something approximating its original shape.

I like to think that's the way the best of long-lasting friendships are -- no matter how long they've been weathered, neglected, cramped or tucked up into the rafters, they can be re-shaped, re-formed and put back into service.

The Vermont of our youth has long occupied a special place in Bill's heart, and it wasn't until I was back there for our 30th high school reunion (he, unfortunately, was not) that some truly magical, wonderful, unexpected, wholly unexplainable, deliciously serendipitous and heart-tinglingly fantastical things sugared out and I finally saw the place I grew up in -- and took for granted for so long -- through different eyes.

I left Vermont for the most recent time just a few days ago, and I already know I left a little piece of my heart there too. So if anyone sees it kicking around the streets of Saxtons River, do me a favor and put it somewhere safe.

I'll come back for it.

PC 128: Skywalker/Firefighter
PC 125: Big Bear & Rob Bevier
PC 124: Vermont Academy Reunion Lid

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