Sunday, October 23, 2005

John Robarts' Hat

J. Clive’s a funny guy sometimes. Known him for six years or so now and still finding out small details…little stories he tells now and then.

Like tonight…with his Oktfest gear he wears a green felt hat that looks good on him…not exactly German style, but close. Tonight we were out smoking during a break and we got talking about hats because my crazy bal’head is turning into a freezyblue col’head…or will soon. Talked about the Biltmore hat factory in Growlf. It’s been bought out by some guy from Kentucky because he wants to reproduce the fedoras of the 40’s and 50’s…like Bogey used to wear. Apparently they’re cool again.

Anyway…J. Clive remarked that his hat…a Stetson manufacture…was the hat of former Ontario Premier John Robarts. I said, “Now that you mention it, it is like hats I’ve seen Robarts wearing in pictures.” But then, a second later, it clicked. “You mean, that hat is actually John Robarts’ hat?” I asked, and J. Clive said it was. He was friends with Robarts’ son in the 60’s. They hung out at the Robarts cottage, summers, up Lake Huron way. Speeding on the back roads. Getting crazy drunk. Taking advantage of being the son of the Premier. One day at the cottage, J. Clive picked the hat off a peg on the wall and put it on. The Premier told him he could keep it. So nearly 40 years later he still wears it, and it’s still associated with beer.


Anonymous said...

Cool story.

An aside - Buddhists smoke? What the HELL is that about!!!

Another aside - there was a Stetson factory in the town where I grew up... it was a very important part of the little-town landscape. The town was really proud of that hat factory. Sad when it closed...

Larry Keiler said...

Even Tibetan buddhists smoke! By definition...because most Tibetans are buddhist, but still a number of them smoke. I'm still looking for the way to transform smoking into the path.

(Just kidding.) I look at it this way. One vice at a time, OK? One negative action at a time. Slowly, slowly, as the Tibetans say. Maybe I can train my "double" to quit smoking, eh?

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