How many kinds of shapes of hats might there be?

My Ol’ Daddy would have said, “A feller needs to shade up in this kind of weather, ‘cuz, the way that ol’ sun beats down, it could shore fry yore brains. Pert near reason enough to always grab yore hat before you sashay to the great outdoors.”                                                                                                                      Hats! Now that opens a can of worms. Did you ever consider just how many kinds and shapes of hats there might be? Needless to say, there are many, so let’s just limit it to western style hats. Even with that limitation, you will find quite a variety. 

A hat can be and often is a fashion statement. But, they are often considered an essential part of a person’s available tools. Both men and women find the hat to be useful in a number of ways. The ladies probably don’t take the hat quite as seriously as the men do. Fact is, most western men are more than a little touchy about that hat on their head! 

No matter how new or how old and beat up a feller’s hat might be, he likes it just the way it is. Bought our Grandsons straws, and Jared managed to make his look like an accordion. His Dad’s comment to answer a raised eye was, “He’s about got it like he wants it!” 

This shows, for the most part, hats have a lot of character and usually mirror your personality.  Now, understand, when a gent meets a lady, he will tip his hat or take it off. He also takes it off in church and when our flag “Old Glory” is passing by. And usually when he goes indoors, especially when he’s at the dinner table (dinner  occurs before supper, but figuratively speaking, the dinner table is where you take all of your meals.) he will hang up his hat or place it upside down in an out of the way place. And for every hat, there is a reason for wearing it that numbers right up there with how many uses you can find for a hat. 

Things like fanning the face of a fainted woman, toting water to put out a campfire, watering your horse, or even swatting at a bear climbing up your rope! Heck! A couple of cowboys (Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford) used their hats discreetly as “seat covers” in the 1965 movie “The Rounders.” When you need it, it fits the purpose. 

A good many hands like straws and some like beaver pelt, while some swap ‘em back and forth when they take a notion to do it. And then… there are the creases, and according to a feller’s whims, these creases can take on a variety of shapes. But, if a hat is used properly, it’s liable to get knocked out of shape and a bit dusty, but a few good whacks across your thigh and it is as good as new! 

Years ago, my young bride Stella and I gave our grandson, Jared, a good looking straw cowboy hat. A short time later, we were with him and that new hat looked like it was stomped by a bad bull, or at the very least, involved in a rip-roaring horse wreck. 

His Dad was there at the time and his comment was, “Sure looks like Jared has got that hat shaped about like he wants it to be!” 

There’s a lot of things to understand about a hat and I don’t see how we can cover it all, so let’s just suffice it to say, A hat, on a fellers head, is there for a reason and it’s “shore ‘nuff” nobody else’s business. It’s also smart to keep in mind that a prudent person just “Don’t mess with a feller’s hat!”                                                

And just so you know…



High on that ridge, astride his big bay,

with face so calm, aholdin’ his hat,

talkin’ to the Lord at break o day,

an’ we all know… cowboys are like that!


I’ve known some that were wooley an’ wild. 

They’d spit right in the ol’ devil’s face.

Flirt with the gals ‘til they were beguiled; 

proper townsfolk thought them a disgrace.


Yea, thought them a disgrace, but you know,

them fellers would flat jump at the chance

to give a hand to their amigo.

‘Specially if he needs help at the dance


to properly meet that sweet young dove.

But that ain’t all an’, it’s a shore fact

when in a bind an’ push comes to shove,

it don’t take ‘em long to get untracked.


Jest to help their pard out of a jam,

be it strong support or diplomat.

Do what it takes an’ devil be damn.

An’ we all know… cowboys are like that!

They love them ponies, children, an’ gals,

clear crisp mornin’s an’ good workin’ dogs,

dust from wild horses, cheers from their pals,

rainbows, sunsets, an’ mist from the bogs.


Just a few of the things that they love

as they trail thru life here on this Earth;

guided by the Grace of the Lord above.

Reckon they been that way from their birth.


Yea, from their birth they got this itchin’

to keep on ridin’ fer the west sky.

They head out, pony jest apitchin’;

gnawin’ wanderlust to satisfy.


Yea, wanderlust to satisfy…but,

when them ol’ boys have a job to do

they’ll stick to it ‘til the gate is shut;

they just flat won’t leave you in a stew.


They’ll do their darndest to do it right,

tho sometimes they will stop to chat.

 They’ll jaw an’ develop an insight,

but, we all know…cowboys are like that!


They’ll argue, lookin’ straight in yore eye,

but a deals a deal; their word is true.

An’ to that fact, I will testify,

‘cuz a cowboy should get what is due.


Yea, should get their due, ‘cuz them ol’ boys

talk straight, but will let a feller slide

that’s down on his luck, makin’ no noise,

but showin’ try an’ willin’ to ride.


Their actions can sometimes be risky.

But they got heart an’ stand for what’s right.

They’ll shake yer hand an’ drink yore whisky,

cross ‘em an’ you got a hell of a fight!


They face each day knowin’ times is tough,

an’ they’ll play the hand that life has dealt.

He’ll fork a bronc that will treat him rough,

an’ his thanks to God will be heartfelt.


Tho them cowboys are gooder than gold;

Look here!  Don’t ever mess with his hat.

I reckon you don’t have to be told,

‘cuz we all know…cowboys are like that!

© Ol’ Jim Cathey

God bless each of you and God Bless America!

The Rosebud News

251 Live Oak St
Marlin, TX 76661
Phone: (254) 883-2554
Fax:(254) 883-6553