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randy jones

How To Store Ten Gallons

The cowboy hat is a thing of beauty.

Equal parts form and function it looks just as good on John Wayne in The Searchers as it does on Randy Jones in "The Village People". As iconic and easily recognizable as the cowboy hat is, if you ever take a moment chance to study one, you'll find its shape to be surprisingly complex. It turns out storing a cowboy hat is a remarkably difficult thing to do. To do so properly requires some ingenuity.

I was reminded of this when I was in Hallettsville over the weekend. Under the seats in the main courtroom of the Lavaca County Courthouse is a bent wire that is designed to hold the brim of a cowboy had so that it can be stored upside-down when the seat is folded flat (center image). This is a similar strategy to the vehicle hat holder designed to hold a hat upside down on the roof of your pickup (left image). I owned a pickup truck myself for a few years and I installed such a device because, well, it seemed appropriate to do so.

It seemed seemed appropriate for LBJ to install a dedicated cowboy hat rack in the Boeing 707 which, when he flew in it, was known as Air Force One (right image). It sat next to his desk so like the Moscow-Washington Hotline, it was available should in case of an emergency.