Linda Beck: Hats on

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 25, 2018

Linda Beck

The only head covering I ever wore as a child was the old timey kerchiefs on windy days. As a wife and mother, I only wore toboggans if we were out in the snow playing with our daughters.

I did wear a pillbox hat in the days of Jackie Kennedy. Then in 1966 when I was working with three Catholic girls in Indianapolis, I went to church with them at lunch time on Good Friday. Because I didn’t know I had to cover my head in their church, I did not have any kind of hair covering with me. They insisted I put a kleenex over my hair. I found that to be rather quirky since Baptists women only wore hats by choice in those days!

I wore a wig to work during the 70s when that was the popular thing to do. I hated wearing that wig as it was very hot in the summertime and resembled a large brown bowling ball! Those were the days of teasing one’s hair!

After my husband died and I started going to water aerobics about every day, I learned that we lose body heat through the top of our heads when we wet our hair under water. Some ladies who did not like to wet their hair during the water aerobics class complained about being too hot. I, on the other hand, would get too cold after I wet my hair while swimming laps before the class.

Over the past 20 years, I only had a red toboggan with a matching scarf and gloves which I wore mostly on the coldest days around Christmas. I did not like messing up my curls which I paid for when I got perms. Then in 2017, I had my hair cut real short because for a while I was physically unable to go and get perms. My beautician, Debbie, was willing to come to my house to cut my hair and that has been so much easier.

Some friends liked my new style, but my family did not. I found myself getting colder with the short hair so I decided I would go shopping to see what kind of hat I might like.

If my longtime friend, Pat, had not been with me this trip would have been wasted. The hats were on shelves so crowded in narrow aisles that I could not get my scooter close enough to try the hats on. Pat had to bring one hat after another out to the main aisle for me to try them on. I finally settled on a white fur one which reminded me of a lampshade. It felt so nice and warm, and I thought it looked okay when I finally found a mirror.

The hat was so warm I decided I needed a black one to wear around the house like the father in the story, “The Night before Christmas.” When my oldest daughter asked what I wanted for Christmas that is what I told her I would like to have.

Well, she gave me two hats in beautiful hat boxes. One was a practical one like I had asked her to give me. The other one was a fancier hat with a big round rhinestone on one side and the left side flips up like one of those French hats. (I hope she got it on sale because it looks very expensive!)

Well, I have rambled on about head coverings, but the original purpose of this story was to share what an impression this hat has made on others. The look of surprise and delight on the face of my doctor made my day! Then while waiting in the checkout line at Walmart, a lady turned around and in surprise she said, “Oh, you are so beautiful! I love that hat and your colors are so pretty on you!” Then she offered to get the groceries up on the counter for me as I thanked her for making me feel very pretty. (I actually receive more compliments in my old age than I ever used to receive.)

And if that wasn’t enough, my new RITA van driver was looking in the rearview mirror smiling at me. When she caught my eye, she said she loves my hat. I have received so many comments; my daughter must have good taste in hats!

Linda Beck lives in Woodleaf. Email her at

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