Tuesday, 26 June 2007

My Hat

My hat is a masterpiece. Made from three pieces of leather cut from the thickest cow hide imaginable, it was made in Cornwall by a man named John the Fish.

I happened on John's web site the other day. He's a colourful character with a beard like an explosion - soldier, fisherman, sailor, musician, leather worker, clog dancer, humanist....A long, long time ago, sometime in the last century, John ran a leather stall in Truro's Pannier Market - a happy mixture of hippie, wet fish and household goods (the market, not John or his stall). He was a key figure in the vibrant Cornish folk scene that included the Famous Jug Band, Ian Todd, Alex Atterson, Wizz Jones, Ralph McTell and many more. For a time he was teamed up with Cornish folk legend Brenda Wootton ('Pasties and Cream', Sentinel Records), and he made a solo album, 'Coelacanth'. I didn't know all this when I bought the hat; he was just a guy with a strange name and a scary beard.

My hat has had the best of times. No one's ever been sick in it, unlike my other hat (thanks, Nick). It's walked in some cool places, attended some cool gigs...I know for a fact it's seen Dylan and the Stones, to name but five. Most of all, it's partied. And partied. And partied. It's been to parties I don't remember. It's even been to parties I haven't been to. In fact, it was out on its own with a girl last Friday, not for the first time masquerading as a cowboy, but I'm told it behaved. Hats today just never seem to grow up.....

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