Straw Hat

I went to the Goodwill to look for a hat to wear in this scene I am in. The call sheet said “straw hat” and I can’t say any more because I signed an NDA.  I have something at the country house, a big dark brown wide-brimmed rough weave hat I wear when I cut grass sometimes. I bought it when I was doing a lot of gardening.  A ball cap is really not as good as a big hat when you are working outside in the sun. You are a lot cooler under a big hat.  I think anyway. I am not really a hat wearer, that is about the only time I wear one. I only have two ballcaps, both of them the same, white caps with UMSL on them, one in the city house and one in the country house. Sometimes in the winter I might wear one, otherwise my head covering is a hoodie I wear under a winter coat.

But the scene calls for a straw hat and I the call sheet came while I was in the city and am not going to spend more in gas than a new hat cost to get mine from the country. After the Goodwill I went to a Walmart. The producer was sort of confused when I told her I had been to a Walmart and they didn’t have one. There was actually one for 30 bucks, an ugly unfinished looking thing with the straw sticking willy-nilly off the brim. Clearly a hat a young man buys to drink beer in on a float trip or at an outdoor concert. The kind of thing a wife might mention in telling a story about how she met her husband, “and he was drunker than shit and wearing this stupid straw hat but I thought he was cute, and 20 years later, here we are.” I am not getting paid for being in this movie and there is no wardrobe budget, so I didn’t buy the ugly thing that I would only wear one time.

Years ago I had a super cheap straw fedora that grocery stores sell in the spring for $6. I used to wear it all the time until I caught my reflection one time and realized how stupid I looked. You put a snap-brim hat or a tuxedo on lots of Italian guys and they look like mafioso. It is crazy. I have some pictures of my grandparent’s wedding in the 1920s, a sepia thing near a hundred years old now and my PapaGrande is not intimidating, but one of his brothers standing right behind him looks like a cold vicious dago hitman. He was a great guy too, but the pictures of him in a tux are frightening. 

I will find something on the way to the shoot tomorrow. I called a couple of places, a Bucheiht’s and a Rural King. Somebody will have something.


I bought a copy of The Postman Always Rings Twice while at the Goodwill. It was a popular book a generation ago. That is a great thing about the Goodwill book section; I come across stuff I would not have normally sought out, it takes my reading in interesting places. I just finished I Am Legend, a novella by a guy named Richard Matheson. Most of his stuff is horror/Sci-Fi sort of stuff from the 50s and 60s. I got it because Will Smith made a movie of the same name a while back. The movie was only very loosely based on the book and ended with hope, where the book was more final. I liked the book ending better. This guy Matheson wrote screenplays and for TV and he wrote the episode for Twilight Zone with a pre-Star Trek Willian Shatner that was the single most terrifying thing I saw in my single digit years. “”Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and in black and white it did give me nightmares. Very scary. 

There were quite a few classics, mostly together but I gathered some of them on a shelf for a picture. So many great books! One and two bucks apiece. I always want to buy them, but I won’t store tons of books anymore. There are always more than I am going to be able to get to and libraries make more sense for a heavy reader. The classics are all online now, and most everything else too – with a library card. I do like a physical book better, but that may have to change as time goes along.

I haven’t read The Poisonwood Bible or Under the Volcano or the Sparks book and probably won’t at this point. I have a copy of The Known World at home and plan to get to it.

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