Party Hats

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2007

By Susan Shinn

Salisbury Post

OK, let’s see. Checklist for this Sunday’s Super Bowl game: Chips. Check. Beverages. Check. Pot of chili. Check. Fun party hat.

What? You don’t have a fun party hat?

Well, buddy, Stan is the man who can fix you right up.

For the past year or so, Stan Cozart has been making cowboy hats out of beer case boxes.

An interesting fashion statement, to be sure, but a lot of fun for someone who’s a people person.

“It’s a good way to meet people,” says Cozart, who lives in Rockwell with his family. “I take them to ballgames and racetracks and stuff.”

A friend of his had ordered one from the Internet.

Cozart wanted one, too, but thought the $35 price tag a bit step.

So he said to himself — as many men are wont to do — “I can make that.”

He took a few measurements from his daughter’s cowboy hat, grabbed a hot glue gun and went to work.

Cozart works in the heating and air conditioning business, so he’s used to working with metal. He also enjoys woodworking, so this particular project was an easy one for him.

“I guess I get it from my dad and granddad,” Cozart says. “They never threw anything away.”

His children, Kristy, 22, and Darren, 19, wanted him to be sure and let folks know he doesn’t drink all the beer to make the hats.

“I get ’em from a lot of different places,” Cozart says. “Somebody will bring me one.”

Cozart estimates he’s made around three dozen or so of the creations. It takes two cases to make a hat — for sturdiness and for the design to show on the top and underside of the brim.

He recently made a hat from two decks of cards.

“I didn’t have too much luck with these two decks,” Cozart says. I was gonna throw them away, but I got a bright idea to make a hat out of them.”

Kristy has been saving other boxes for him. He may make a hat from Wheaties cereal boxes.

He’s made a hat from Slim Jim boxes for a friend who delivers them, and a couple of hats from soft drink boxes.

One friend has asked for a Schlitz hat, but Cozart hasn’t been able to find a case yet.

“I never noticed it not being around,” he says.

The hats have turned into a fun hobby for Cozart.

So will he wear a hat this Sunday when he and wife Lynn hit the Jaycees party in Faith?

“I probably will,” Cozart says with a grin.

Contact Susan Shinn at 704-797-4289 or sshinn@salisburypost.com.

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