This is my hat. My Dallas Cowboys, back to back super bowl champs, 1993, snapback hat. Yeah, it’s kinda cool. It’s got a vintage feel to it. It fits me well, which is unusual for snapback hats (usually they’re freakin enormous and make my ears smush out like Dumbo). In general, it’s pretty nifty.
But lots of people wear snapback hats nowadays. In fact, I’d say that these hats are taking over the hat wearing world. They’re anything by uncommon. So why write about my hat? Why write about my snapback that seems like it’s the same as all the others? Well, mine is special. Mine is different. My snapback wasn’t bought at a Lids store or ordered from some trendy website. My snapback isn’t some name brand and it doesn’t have any flashy swooshes or swoops on it.
My snapback was my Dad’s.
Yep, this was my Dad’s hat. He wore it when the good ol’ Cowboys were in their glory days. He probably thought he was pretty cool sporting this hat. Probably thought he was the bees knees, the coolest kid on the block. The old fart (he isn’t that old, but he is a fart) wore this hat when he was younger, kind of like I do now. Following in mi padre’s footsteps, I’m wearing this old rag around, on top of my head.
It’s cool, if you think about it. My Dad, my old, decrepit, Dad wore this hat. There are a lot of memories in this lid. All the things my Dad did, all the places he went, all the people he met while wearing this hat. I have no idea about any of those things, but I know that he’s made a few trips around the block, wearing this hat for at least some portion of those trips. It’s kind of like a history book, this hat. Instead of words written in some boring ass pages, it’s got memories ingrained in its threads, memories of my Dad infused in its fabric. The life of my Dad written on a snapback hat. Now that’s the kind of history book I would love to read.
I’ll never see what my Dad saw when he was wearing this hat. I don’t have a time machine, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to see things through my Dad’s eyes. We’re different people, after all. But this hat gives me something else, something more than the thought of my Dad’s memories. This hat is a reminder. A reminder of all the lessons that my Dad has taught me, all of the knowledge that my Dad has passed down to me. This hat is a symbol of the relationship that I share with my old man (ok, he is pretty old).
My Dad is a ridiculous teacher. I have no idea how he does it. He’s fifty, maybe fifty-one (I told you, he’s old), but he’s easily given me a hundred years worth of knowledge and insight. The dude is just smart. He, like most Dads, knows what the hell he’s talking about. He’s walked down 99% of the roads that I’m going to walk down and he knows exactly where all the bumps, potholes, and sharp turns are. He knows where they are and he’s always sitting in the passenger seat telling me precisely where to go. He’s just wise. He knows his stuff. I’m a lucky kid, to have a Dad like him. A Dad that’s always looking out for me, teaching me life lessons whenever he can, and taking the wheel when he needs to.
My hat is a constant reminder of all the help that my Dad has given me. If times ever get tough, I look at my hat, maybe put it on for a second or two, and remember what my Dad has taught me. I remember what my Dad told me to do whenever I’m struggling, and I push forward. With the help of my Dad’s snapback hat, I keep going.
Now, maybe it’s not your Dad. Maybe the all-knowing, wizard like character that I make my Dad out to be isn’t your Dad for you. Maybe it’s someone else. Your Mom, your sister, your aunt, your uncle, you cousin, I don’t know your neighbor. Someone. Anyone. We all have someone like this. Someone who has taught us something important. Something that, when life starts to suck, we refer back to and it helps us make things not sucky. We all have someone who has helped us stay afloat in the nasty sea of life.
Who is that person for you?
Once you’ve identified them, don’t forget who they are. Never lose sight of what they’ve taught you and how they’ve influenced your life. Always remember that you wouldn’t be the person that you are without their help. And if you’re forgetful, which I most certainly am, find something that reminds you of that one person. Find something that you can look at that will let you overcome any stress or difficulty that you’re experiencing. Find you own Dallas Cowboys snapback hat.
I will always wear this hat. I will always keep it with me wherever I go, carrying on the legacy of the greatest/coolest/best/smartest/oldest guy I know.
Have a splendid weekend. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.