Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pins and Patches

We were goofing off late yesterday afternoon and put up a Facebook profile photo wearing a baseball cap peppered with pins.  We titled the photo "You know yer a geezer when ya gotta hat fulla pins."  Eventually, we changed the title to one word: "Geezer."  As of Wednesday morning, the post has 29 Likes and nearly 30 comments and replies.  So "whazzup" with hat?

Naturally, there's a story (or many stories) behind the hat and also the patches that weren't part of the Facebook post.  First, we've been collecting for many years what were once known as lapel pins and are now simply called pins.  Our pin penchant dates back into the 90's.  We became a little more aggressive  purchasing pins about 15 years ago.  In the last 2 or 3 years, our pin pursuit picked up.  As you might expect, we have plentiful pins.

Meanwhile, let's pause pins for a minutes or two and talk patches.  Our patch penchant parallels pins.
We arguably have more patches than pins.  For the past 2-3 years, we have  been working to convert our patch pile into productive public patch display.  We are constantly on the lookout for appropriate hats and shirts upon which to attach a patch.  So, you see, that's how the hat in the photo wound up with a Grand Teton National Park patch.  We bought the hat at the Idaho Falls LDS Deseret Industries thrift store and took it to our favorite business here--Classy Threads on Yellowstone Avenue.

Patches waiting to be paired with a shirt or a hat.
The wonderful people at Classy Threads did their usual expert job sewing on the patch.  In this manner we wound up with a classy GTNP hat for $10.    If you've ever priced hats in National Parks gift shops, you know they don't get any cheaper than $20 and they can be as pricey as $30.  The usual price point is $22-$25, plus tax of course.  Our $10 price includes the $2 hat, the $5 patch and $3 to sew it on.  Meanwhile, we wind up with  really a outstanding hat that looks, feels and wears much better than an off-the-shelf hat from the typical National Park gift shop.

OK, now we have to rewind onto a different topic--the NPS Centennial Celebration last August at the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, Montana.  Post-Register Publisher Roger Plothow graciously somehow wrangled a press pass for us to attend that epic and historic event.  THANKS, Roger!  Well, we decided we needed a hat with something associated with Yellowstone in it.  Hence, we pulled out our GTNP hat and found our Old Faithful pin and stuck it on the hat.  We got quite a few happy looks and smiles when people glanced at that hat during the event.  (The Old Faithful pin  is on the right side of the GTNP patch.)  When we returned to Idaho Falls, we added the spiral pin seen on the left side of the patch.  It kinda symbolized our circular Road Trip routes round this region.

And that's how the hat sat until yesterday.  Once in awhile, we'd pull the hat out of the closet and wear it.  But it always seemed so Geezer-ish.  I remember back in my 30's looking askance at old guys wearing hats festooned with multiple pins.  I'd think to myself, "Geezus, What a Geezer!"  Baseball caps covered with pins were the penultimate pointers to Geezer-dom.

OK, now let's take this whole process one step farther, shall we?  We were up in Glacier National Park not long ago getting ready to cross the Canadian border to go to Waterton Lakes National Park. Somehow one of the NPS Visitor Center Staff spooked me into thinking the border crossing would be a Big Ordeal.  (See: )  And that's when the light bulb went off.  Nothing screams "GEEZER!" like a hat fulla pins.  So, I pulled out the hat and proudly put it on.  It was the very first thing the Canadian Customs guy looked at when we pulled up to the border check station.  The Customs guy didn't bother to look at anything else. He asked us a few perfunctory questions and waved us on.

Well, I figured if it worked going into Canada, it sure would work again coming back to the States.  Sure enough, it was like the hat was a magic wand or something.  POOF, back into the States with ZERO hassle of any kind.  At that point, my admiration for my Geezer Hat grew immensely.

Yesterday afternoon, the light bulb went off yet again.  I reasoned that if two pins made magic, imagine the Magic of Many Pins.  So, that's when and how and why I set out to pack pins onto this particular hat.  Man, with this many pins, I am a triple certified Geezer Guy of the First Order.  Man, I gotta a hat even Geezers will envy!  Now, mind you, I am not at all sure what to do with my brand new triple certified Geezer Guy hat.  We won't be crossing any borders until next year maybe in July.  But we'll think of something to show off this Geezer Guy hat, you can count on that.

1 comment:

Mayor Diane Joens said...

Great "back story" to the FB post!