Friday, May 29, 2009

Thinking Caps

I have pointed out that summer is here and the sun is starting to beat down strongly upon us all. Daily temperatures are getting up around 90 degrees (32C) and the humidity is going up too. It's the time of year when hats become a requirement, though I should say that visitors to Key West even in winter like to cover themselves in tropical head gear even under the weakest of winter sun. Some people can carry off the straw hatted look quite well:Other people like to look dapper in their fedoras:I am not much of a fan of head gear so I like sunscreen to protect my mediterranean skin from the sun, others prefer something more ample and possibly floppy:Wait a minute, that hardly qualifies as floppy compared to some people:I used to have a straw hat years ago, a seven dollar Albertsons special and it survived a trip to the Bahamas, but too many dunkings while getting in and out of the dinghy put paid to it. My second straw hat got torn to shreds riding my Honda scooter back and forth to my boat captain's job, where I really needed it day after day panting on the water. A bit like this guy:Other people seem to take good care of their straw hats:Some people express their personality with a palm frond hat purchased from the weavers on Duval Street:And sometimes that isn't enough so they embellish them further:My headgear of choice is something like this under the cargo net, even though it's not a legal requirement in Florida for riders over 21, and I don't always wear it, or it's open faced cousin every time I ride:And though I do wear a baseball cap from time to time, one has to acknowledge it doesn't give much cover from the cancer-inducing rays of the sun:On the other hand people who wear visors, I don't get at all.But there again perhaps they just like wearing something on their heads, in equal proportion to how much I don't. I was struck recently by headgear while watching an old episode of Sherlock Holmes which I had ordered from Netflix. It was the excellent Jeremy Brett series and I noticed how much people bothered with hats, a different hat for each different outfit with gloves to match. Then we went to see the Red Barn's last live theater production of the year and the patron sitting next to me, a man probably no older than thirty years of age, kept his baseball cap on throughout the production. I have a tendency when I go indoors be it only to eat or see a movie or a play, to remove my headgear, and in this day and age I have no idea who rates as most eccentric, him or me.
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I don't much like fora on the Internet and don't participate much on websites where people are busy posting rapid fire comments, but in my nocturnal web wanderings I came across a group of people who expressed enthusiasm about vactioning in Key West. To get to read their comments I had to register and that led to an invitation to meet one of them last week, as Shazbo17 reads this blog from time to time. Which meeting was quite an education as I discovered there are several dozen of them who gather from all over the country and talk about I'm not sure what. A fondness for vactioning in Key West seems a rather narrow basis for friendship but they were all terribly hail-fellow-well-met with each other at Conch Republic Seafood. And several were wearing hats, which was convenient for me at the time:And Shazbo who posed in her topee:Key West Spirit is an interesting web site, if like me, you had never thought Key West alone would be enough to sustain an interest between a group of strangers. Of course my Key West is a good deal different from theirs which appears to be powered a great deal by alcohol, if reports of their visits to the city are to be believed.
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And in closing this essay a few variegated headgear wearers I came across recently:Neither a bowler nor a derby and certainly not a deer stalker among the lot of them.