Thursday, 17 May 2012

Passionate about hats - a repost

Today is youngest son's birthday. Happy Birthday with lots and lots of love♥♥♥♥
Youngest son has always been very creative.  He could draw in profile before he went to school. On his first school day he came home and told me what funny pictures the other children drew - their drawings of people were like balloons with sticks for arms and legs!!!
He was only knee high to a grasshopper when he first began wearing our tea-cosy. It went everywhere with him, he was completely unaware of other people's amusement. It was a gaudy, colourful affair, with rather lovely oriental flowers all over it. I quickly made sure that I replaced it with another tea-cosy as I did not want him grabbing it off the breakfast bar with a pot of boiling tea underneath. So began his collection of hats.
When he was about 10 years old we visited my brother in Canada.  We spent a week with them before travelling down to New York State. Along the way we visited a rodeo, and of course they were selling Davy Crockett hats which young son coveted, and spent his pocket money on. From then on he wore it all of the time on the visit.
One evening, having crossed Lake Champlain on the car ferry from the Adirondacks to Burlington, we were enjoying an evening meal in the Ice House Restaurant beside the lake. A lady came over to say how much her husband was admiring our son's hat and ended up telling us that her husband owned a hat factory in Montreal.  Can you imagine young sons face - a hat factory!!! They invited us to call in on our journey back to Canada where we were meeting up again with my brother's family at their lakeside cottage. 
On the journey back through New England to Quebec, a little voice kept saying 'are we nearly at Montreal yet?' 
What a journey through Montreal it was. There seemed to be highways all over the place, and railway lines crossed roads without barriers. At one stage we ended up on a railway line with a huge train baring down on us, a train with an enormous cow catcher plough on the front, blasting its horn - what a close shave, we all felt like nervous wrecks.
Eventually the hat factory was located in a very large warehouse, where the owner welcomed us with open arms. He was an immigrant Russian, and made hats for the large retailer Sears. He insisted that all of us had a hat, not easy, it seems we have quite large heads. However, with a few alterations here and there from the seamstresses, we all ended up with a hat. Young son was in his element - it was an experience none of us would have had without his passion for hats.
Is it a hat or a tea-cosy?

44 comments:

  1. I hope your son has an excellent birthday, I'm sure if he reads this post he will have a huge smile on his face all day. I will, we have a tea cosy that looks remarkably like the cat I had until recently. One grandson has been known to put it on his head and tell us "Elijah sat on my head".

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    1. Dear Janice - I cannot believe that you have read and replied to this already, and in France too!!! I have only just put it on - isn't computer communication amazing?
      Glad you enjoyed reading this, I must remind youngest son to look at my blog when I ring him tonight.
      Children do provide lots of amusement, a cat tea cosy would have been a great hit with my son♥ The cat's name is lovely by the way.

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  2. Happy birthday to your son!
    I hope you will soon be over your cold too.

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    1. Thanks very much Karen on both counts.

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  3. Happy Birthday to youngest son.

    What a charming story Rosemary. Does youngest son still use hats?
    What is amazing about this story is, that he didnt feel any different ..he was quiete self assured .
    This post gave me a smile.. its lovely
    congratulations to you mum.
    val

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    1. Dear Val - he only wears a woolly one now when he goes sledging in the snow. He had a suitcase full of hats, and actually gave a little talk on them at school once. Many of them had a story connected with how he acquired them. His first proper hat, after the tea cosy, came from a Spanish waiter when we were on holiday in Ibiza. He was only three and the waiter used to pick him up and take him into the kitchens to see all of the cooks. On his final day, the waiter gave him a sailor's hat.

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  4. Happy birth day to your son, Rosemary! This story is wonderful and a proof of your son's vivid fantasy! I love children and I very often talk to them when going to the shops etc. When I see a child wearing something special I sometimes say that I love it and that it is a pity that it doesn't come in my size as I would like to wear one too. So often I get involved in a conversation with them and the parent. It is a pity that spontaneity gets lost when we become grownups or that we too often think what other people could think. Have a good and happy day! Christa

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    1. Dear Christa - so lovely that you engage with young children when out and about. I too enjoy communicating with the young, they are so full of wide eyed wonderment at everything, and it is a joy to seeing things through their eyes.

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  5. Hello Rosemary:
    What a charming post on the occasion of your son's birthday! Many,many happy returns to him!!

    We like the idea that your son has an interest in collecting and, on occasions, wearing hats. So do we. But, how wonderful it is that each of his acquisitions has a story connected to it. This is such a marvellous inheritance for future generations of your family to enjoy!!!

    Do we note a tin of biscuits in the photograph entitled 'Gaytime Assortment'? How language changes over the years!

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - what very sharp eyes you have. I only noticed that tin myself earlier on today after I had posted, and had the very same thoughts as youselves.
      I have difficulty finding a photo of youngest son not wearing a hat, he was so attached to them. I would ask him to remove it for the photo, but no, it had become part of his persona.

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  6. Dear Rosemary
    Happy birthday to your youngest son. Very nice experience. If your son had no love for hats, would you be living this beautiful experience? Through the wishes of children we become little children. I hope your son being full of love, health and beauty moments.
    Have a wonderful birthday -day
    Olympia

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    1. Dear Olympia - what a love comment - thank you. Yes, you are right, we would not have had this bit of excitement on our return to Canada if it had not been for him. Hope your rain has departed and that the sun is now shinning.

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  7. Beautiful story, Rosemary. Happy Birthday to your son and the best wishes for all your family !!!

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    1. Dear Dani - thank you for your visit. Thank you for your best wishes, and so pleased that you enjoyed reading this little episode in our lives.

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  8. What a great photo of a very serious and involved little boy, Rosemary! Children develop passions for the most extraordinary things and at least hats are useful and in this case led to a memorable holiday encounter. A lovely post. Warmest birthday wishes to your son.

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    1. Dear Perpetua - I have always liked this photo simply because, as you say, he is so seriously engaged in what he is doing. It was taken at his little nursery school, so I was not there when it was done.
      Glad you enjoyed the post, and yes, it did indeed lead to a memorable holiday encounter.

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    2. Dear Rosemary -

      I'm so glad you reposted this wonderful piece. The photograph of your youngest son shows loads of individualism at such an early age, and I think that's one reason so many people are drawn to it. I remember the first time I saw the photo, the image stayed on my mind the rest of the day, and made me smile.

      I wish your son health and happiness on his special day!

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    3. Dear Mark - that is a really kind thing to say and thank you. I shall get him to look at the blog when I telephone him tonight, so that he can see all of the lovely comments.

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  9. Rosemary, what a delightful memory of your son's fondness for hats. I imagine few have hats from a Russian/Canadian hat factory owner first hand. hugs, olive

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    1. Dear Olive - visiting the warehouse was an extraordinary experience. It was an old warehouse with several floors full of machinists, working away making hats. We had never seen anything like it before, and youngest son was told he could have whatever hat he liked.

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  10. Dear Rosemary, Happy Birthday to your youngest son. So many stories within this charming story. Does your son have, in his collection, a cowboy hat? If ever he comes out West, a cowboy hat will be waiting for him. ox, Gina

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    1. Dear Gina - thank you for your birthday wishes. That is a very tempting offer. He did have a wonderful Mexican hat, H brought it back for him. I remember it was a wonderful green silky valour, embroidered in gold and silver♥

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  11. Great story!! I hope your son has a wonderful birthday!

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    1. Thank you Marie - and glad you enjoyed the story.

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  12. beautiful story! Happy birthday to your youngest boy!

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    1. Dear Roanna - thanks for your birthday wishes, I am pleased you enjoyed reading about him.

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  13. I loved your story. Congratiulations on your sons birthday.
    have a great weekend
    marijke

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    1. Dear Marijke - the weekends seem to come around so fast, and hope yours is a great one too. Thanks for your birthday congratulations, I am going to get him to read the blog and the lovely comments. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  14. Happy birthday to your son, what an appropriate post.

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  15. What a wonderful and funny story! And you are telling us in a way so that I get pictures of the events in my head all the time:) Is this the one living in Stavanger? You were absolutely right, to day I am writing about my childhood memories of 17th of may, our Constitutin Celebrating day. And yes, I am the girl at the right! I have now made an english translation of my text, so you are welcome back .And oh, I nearly forgot, congratulations on your son's birtday! Hipp hipp hurra!

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    1. Dear Lise - I think it is lovely that you could see the story of the events in your head. No, it is my eldest son who lives in Stavanger. His wife, who is English, and his youngest daughter both have Norwegian national costumes that they wear today. My little granddaughter thinks she is Norwegian!!! My eldest granddaughter in Norway, plays the saxophone in one of the marching bands today. I will pop over and read the translation now. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

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  16. ahhhh I loved this story,
    happy happy birthday for your child!!!

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    1. Dear Elena - pleased that you enjoyed the passion for hats post and thanks for your birthday greetings.

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  17. Happy birthday to your son, Rosemary. What a wonderful creative spirit to have in the family. I would be so proud.

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    1. Thanks Kate - he is still very creative, always doing linocuts prints, or designing illustrated programmes for the special needs children he teaches. Your right, I am proud of him, he is also a wonderful husband and father.

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  18. What a lovely story, how old is he today?

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Bob. He is grown up now with his own family.

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  19. Happy happy birthday to your boy : ) Love the picture!!!

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  20. Hi Mum, when we met the owner of the hat factory in the restaurant I remember whispering to you that it was like when Paddington Bear met the owner of a marmalade factory.
    My favourite hat, and the one I wore in most of the photographs you speak of, was the denim cap with a zip pocket on the front that I bought on holiday in Andorra when I was about 8. I still have it in the wardrobe. Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes. I had a great day!

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    1. Dear YS - I know your most favourite hat was the denim one, you were hardly ever without it. I have so many photos of you wearing it. I had forgotten it came from Andorra, and also I am pleased that you still have it. As you can see lots of people enjoyed the post. Glad you had a lovely day♥

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  21. A bit late for Youngest Son's birthday but I wanted to step in and say that I also was a hat collector. We traveled when I was a child and I had a Fez from Morocco, a white cap I got in Libya that I don't know the name of but many of the Arabic people wore them, and some I collected in Italy and Germany. I am glad he was able to keep them. Mine eventually got lost in the shuffle of moving often. May he have many more great days. Joe

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    1. Dear Joe - I am pleased that this story reminded you of when you were young, the hats you had and travels you took. You certainly got around as a young boy.

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