Thursday, July 15, 2010

George Kalter's Hat

You might be thinking to yourself right about now that you have no idea who George Kalter is.  Don't feel bad, I don't know who he is either...but I have his hat.

What I do know is that he was at a seminary in a small town in Illinois.  I know this because he wrote his name, address and phone number inside the brim.  I feel sort of like I do know him.  He obviously had quite a few adventures in this hat, and cared enough about it to write his information in it so that if it ever got lost he could get it back.

For a lot of years I have had a list of things I want.  Strange little things.  I always wanted a top hat, a ruby ring since it's my birthstone, a genuine carpet bag and among many other things...a pith helmet.  Not that long ago I got the top hat, and the year before that I got the ruby ring.  I still don't have the carpet bag.

About 15 years ago I was in a second hand store and found a very beat up pith helmet.  It had holes in it, and the covering was worn.  The inside band was broken and it's outside strap was gone.  But it was only five dollars so I bought it because it was one of the very first things that ever went on the list.  It's not something you can walk into any department store and just pick up.

I would really like to have a brand new one to wear out in the garden.  Maybe I will buy myself  one for my upcoming birthday.  Even if I get one, I don't foresee ever getting rid of George's.  Over the years I have worn it quite a bit.

I don't know what you do in the privacy of your own home, but I sometimes do some pretty odd things.  (I am sure you figured that out from reading my blog already!  It's ok to admit you would like to be a fly on the wall here once in a while to see it for yourself!)  When I am feeling really stressed from work or having too much going on inside my head...or can't quite work out an idea for something I want to make...I put on the pith helmet and wear it around.  I am sure it looks ridiculous since the band is gone and it sits too far down on my head.  I don't care though, I don't worry about those sorts of things.

It always makes me feel instantly good, calm and clears my thinking.  Maybe it's because he was in the seminary and some of that part of George rubbed off on it and stayed with it.   

Sometimes I sort through some part of my stuff and give it away to a second hand store.  Once it's gone I usually never give it another thought.  I am sure whoever gave George's hat away has long forgotten about it.  I wonder what they would think if they knew it's still around and the life it's led after it left them?  I also wonder if any of my old junk has gone on to be special to someone else?


Heather said...

I wouldn't doubt it! A few years ago I sold what I considered 'old junk' on ebay... and a year after selling one of those items, the buyer wrote me back again just to let me know what a wonderful purchase it continued to be!

The Littlest Thistle said...

Hee hee, yep, I'd love to be a fly on the wall there!


I love this post! I thought I was the only one with a list of "wants". Mine includes one of those cool Australian hats (I don't know the proper term) and also the biggest, gaudiest silver ring I can fit on my finger, LOL!

Thanks for sharing!

Linda in New Mexico said...

I love George's hat. And I would say that you and I are kindred spirits and that should really scare you. When I need to work out some, bigger than I can handle thing, I put on a kimono that my bro gave me when I was a little girl.....yeah and I do that how????? well I made a shawl out of it. The first time I read Harry Potter to my husband, he is very dyslexic and loves to be read to, it's a very special time for us, and read the part about the invisibility cloak, my Sweet Man said...."hey sweetie, just like your comfort shawl!!!".
I'd love to be a fly on your wall just to see how much fun you have, says The Olde Bagg

quiltmom said...

You must have heard the expression of one person's junk/trash is another person's treasure..
Sometimes when I visit a thrift shop I find the best deals. My favorite ones are things that I remember from my childhood but have forgotten that I loved( not sure if that makes sense VBG) They remind me of places and memories of times gone by-
I love your lists of wants- I will have to think about that one.

Anonymous said...

When I go out garage saling and thrifting with friends we often make up stories about things we see. Sometimes even without buying them and bringing them home. Still, years later we can recall an item and laugh about our story.
When I do sell certain items I have to tell myself it is going on to a better home, a better use.
Generally those are things that brough joy into my life.

Ruth Kalter, Psy.D. said...

George Kalter was my father. My stepmother Donna told me about your blog post, which she found when she Googled George Kalter after he died November 8, 2011, at 87 years old. This post is a treasure! Thank you, Kelly.

You can learn a little about the former owner of the pith helmet on my blog

Dee said...

How very amazing that Ruth and Kelly could connect over the internet via that old helmet! I love it.

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