Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hey, I remember that hat!

Last year, my uncle Hector was in Iowa visiting over the holidays. He, Andrew, and I went to the mall one afternoon, a place I can't stand visiting this time of year, even if it is the really nice one (Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines). 

I can't remember why we ended up at the mall, but there we were and in we walked. Even though it was really crazy, as nearly all malls are during the holidays, we had fun spending some time together.

We happened to be on the second floor of Jordan Creek at one point and passed by the Whipp Trading Company kiosk. They've got these great, fuzzy, warm items for sale there - moccasins, slippers, hats, mittens, stuff like that. My brother Joe once got me the BEST mittens from there. I still have them; they are SO warm, by the way.

Anyway, my uncle had recently bought a "trooper hat" which we'd actually been calling a "Russian" hat - something like this Soviet Ushanka type hat (just click on the link to see the photo). He wanted something to keep him warm outside during an Albuquerque winter and he figured one of these "Russian" hats would do the trick, right?

Well, just days after buying his from somewhere else (I forget where), we were walking in the mall and see the Whipp Trading Company's "sheepskin trooper hats" looking super warm. While agreeing that this hat would keep him warm in the harshest Iowa winter, he decided he'd just go ahead and keep the hat he'd recently bought, because, well . . . Albuquerque's worst winter weather probably wouldn't be quite so bad as what Iowa dished out.

That, and he'd already cut the tag off the one he just bought.

I was thinking of that hat because last weekend, Andrew, Livie, and I passed the same Whipp Trading Company kiosk, and those same hats. It made me think of my uncle. And now that the sunlight is casting its weak golden light into long shadows, I was getting that old, familiar saudade feeling again. No better time to reminisce than when saudade hits, right?

Anyway, since I paraphrased a line from the movie Desperado earlier in this post, I thought I'd end with one of the movie's songs, one that my uncle liked singing along with - the opening song where Antonio Banderas is playing the guitar and singing.

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