Most of the men usually wore Fedoras, even straw or old Fedoras when working in the fields. Many wore farmers' straw hats; some wore pith helmets. At about 12, I acquired a pith helmet, but I soon cut off almost all of the brim, except a small area in front (for a bill), and painted the hat white to make it look like an Indy racing helmet, which I wore for several years and/or renewed as necessary. For the few around who did not know my name, I was known as "that boy who wears the racing helmet." From a distance, one could swear it was a racing helmet.

I've seldom worn a hat except when required as part of an Air Force uniform or for a bit of cover from the intense sun in the fields in summer. The only time(s) I've worn a ball cap was with the fatigue/utility uniform during the 3½ years I was enlisted and a B-47 maintenance crew chief. In a drawer upstairs, I still have the one that I last wore in early March 1960, when I left Lincoln AFB, NE, to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS). I take it out occasionally and study it as a reminder - that's not with nostalgia - just a reminder to be thankful.

I don't remember seeing so many ball caps before, maybe, 25 years ago. I have not succumbed to the "fashion;" I've been lucky enough, though, to have always (even now) had plenty of hair, now white. ;<)

Wilton

----- Original Message ----- From: "Randy Bennell via Mercedes" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
To: "Mercedes Discussion List" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: "Randy Bennell" <rbenn...@bennell.ca>
Sent: Friday, June 12, 2015 1:06 PM
Subject: [MBZ] hey WILTON


I was thinking of you and your stories of your youth.

What sort of hats did you all wear back then?

Hats are an odd thing. Useful for folks who work outdoors like farmers and decorative to some extent for the ladies etc but apart from baseball hats, seem to have all but faded from the scene. I have a couple of Tilley hats that I wear from time to time but my boys did not want to be seen with me when I wore them.

RB

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