Day 500 / Hat 500: Red, handmade alpine-style hat in soft felt with red thread stitching and accessorized with a single white turkey feather. Handcrafted late last night by this mad hatter himself to approximate the hat worn by one Bartholemew Cubbins in the book that bears his name.
As you might imagine, I put a lot of thought into what today's hat would/could/should be (and I mean a lot), but after sporting hundreds of borrowed, loaned, cajoled, wheedled and stealth-snapped hats, helmets, caps (and even a sharknado) flowing from family, friends, co-workers, strangers and more than a few unwitting retail establishments, it seemed only fitting that I
step up to the plate and actually make one.
I'm not so handy with the needle and thread (in some places it was augmented with a generous application of double-sided craft tape), but as I sat there at my desk stitching this together I gained a true appreciation for the art and craft that in the course of wearing my work hat I often overlook.
It also gave me a chance to reflect on some of the lessons I've learned over the last 500 days, including, but certainly not limited to, the following:
-- Just about everybody has a hat - and every hat has a story
-- The world will never run out of baseball-style caps
-- The ability to plan is important -- but the ability to improvise is more important
-- Having doubters (not detractors) is good motivation
As to that last point, I'm referring specifically to the young lady I told you about back at PC 481 who told her mom, in the early days of the Project, that she wasn't sure I'd hit 500. She sure lit a fire under me. And, wouldn't you know it, by a strange twist of fate, that little girl turns 10 years (or roughly 3,650 hats) old TODAY!
I know any list of thank-yous, appreciations and hat tips would fall short -- which is why I tried to thank folks as I went along, but an especially deep bow of thanks goes to my long-suffering colleagues who have watched the tide of hats ebb and flow across my desk over the last year and a half. Thanks too to my family (nuclear/extended/by birth and marriage) for their unflagging support and enthusiasm.
And a simultaneous tipping of all 500 hats is due the Bride. Purchaser of some hats, loaner of others, in the final moments of last night's labors she even served as millinery midwife as I birthed the final Bartholemew bonnet.
Oh, and if you haven't read Dr. Seuss' "The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins," you should. There's a lot going on in there. Even after many a re-reading I'm still finding magic beneath every last hat.
I did what I did for that kid from the Kingdom of Didd.
PC 250: Halfway Home
Video: "The Road to 500"
PC 1: At the Starting Gate
Q: OK, nice hat -- but what exactly is Project Cubbins, anyway?