Tuesday, December 18, 2012

pieces of my past

I am becoming a dinosaur. A relic of a time past that, in my mind, reflects a simpler time. A time where life seemed to be more well-defined, boundaries were understood, and expectations somewhat clearer.

A throw back to the days of Blue Laws (where certain things/stores/places could not be open on Sunday, aka: The Sabbath) which compelled one to stay home with family or go to grandma's place after church for the usual fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and whatever else was put on the table.

A slower time. A state of innocence.

Enter the new world. The Next Generation for you Trekkies. A time of 24/7 busyness. An internet world where literally everything is at your disposal at all times. Where relationships consists of electronic transmissions via text, social media, or email. Whens the last time you bought a stamp? yep. thought so.

Shopping for christmas gifts this year, it struck me just how much we rely on gadgets for our lives. Smart phones, Tablets, Ipods, electronic Furby's (as if the old ones were not bizarre enough), flat screen tvs. The list could go on and on. My favorite tv shows now are Toy Hunter, Pawn Stars, American Pickers. There is a recurring theme here: these shows are about items, and these items are usually something from the past. A bygone era. And since I am also, it resonates with me. And I believe it resonates with lots of folks who remember. I believe this is part of the success and popularity of these shows. People can indentify with a simpler time. Something from their past.

So, to help keep me in touch with my past, I bought a Stetson Felt Cowboy Hat this week. Not just any ol' Cowboy hat, but a full blown genuine authentic Stetson Cowboy hat that makes anyone, not just cowboys, take notice. Its a 5X Beaver Silverbelly and its a thing of beauty. Its the kind the "good guys" wore in the old westerns (pre Tombstone and Wyatt Earp movies). And it says "Made in USA" inside on the hatband. Growing up, all the old men and cowboys wore these. The Marshal and Sheriff wore them.
The Texas Rangers law enforcement group, not baseball team, still wear them today. When I was a youngster the town marshal would give me his old hat when he bought a new one and I would wear it with pride. I still have his shotgun that he left to my dad when he died and my dad passed it to me.

And I don't really know why I bought it. Heck, I didn't have one so there's that. And I look pretty silly in a hat really. But something drew me to that hat. A connection with a time past. My grandfather always wore a Stetson hat, and over the years it showed the wear from the sweat stains around the base of the crown, and yellowing at the front of the brim by the constant swirl of cigarette smoke that came from whatever cig he had in his mouth during the day. A remeberance from my youth. Something tangible from a bygone era. And I got one. And I plan on wearing it.

I don't care what others will think of it when I wear it. Its not really about them. Its about me. A statement to a fast paced, latest fad, electronic consumerist gadget society that I can still be me, tied to the past, here in the present.

Of course the irony is I bought the hat on Ebay using a computer and pay pal account. but still. ~npp

No comments: