Stay Gleamin'; Hats-Off to You, Sir.

Original 1940s-era Resistol Fedora & Hat-box

A fine gentleman should always rock a fine piece of head-wear… And this one indeed belonged to a very fine gent.

On a recent trip to visit the "in-laws", I'm sitting at the dining room table, flipping through the current issue of 'Complex' magazine. My ultra laid-back, soft-spoken father-in-law is known for sliding his latest finds in front of me—without a word—and letting me check out his hunt for that "cool." This go 'round, he pushes a large box right under my nose and my face lights up.

It was a large, well-kept, but very old hat-box. Now everyone knows I have an eye for accessories, specifically kicks, watches and good lids. I was immediately taken with the craftsmanship of this particular package; rich black ink that withstood time, embossed 'fleur de lis' all over the top, complete with top straps and a brass buckle. I carefully peel back the strap and top and there might as well have been angels singing.

Inside was a masterpiece of wool and satin that looked as if it had barely been touched. As proof of the age of the whole package, the plastic pieces inside can't withstand a simple touch as they fall to literal dust in my hand. But the hat; this 40s-era fedora was immaculate and had some how outlasted its protective shielding—a credit to the box no doubt.

So as I try not to get any drool on the hat and cause any damage, the coveting turns to shock and appreciation. I push the box back and thank my pops-in-law for the viewing… he pushes it back and says, "It's yours. It belonged to my dad and we'd be really happy if you had it." At this point I'm in awe. The hat belonged to a man whom I greatly respected. The family patriarch, the U.S. military Veteran with a warm way and a stern disposition, had passed away last summer. I turned the hat over for one more inspection, and got another surprise; the hat was "fitted" and exactly my size. All too honored, I sat back and marveled at this piece of history that was in such good condition that I'd actually do it a disservice by not wearing it. So to Thomas Kneifl—by way of Bart Kneifl—I say thank you, and hats-off to you, sirs. I'll rock it with pride, real nice and RDQLUS-like. That's right… "HvyCrwn" tipped.