Me, trying on caps at the JC Penny store: Why are some of these blue, other ones grey?
Store Clerk lady: Why the grey ones are Confederates.
Me: Oh. Okay, what are the blue ones.
Store Clerk lady, frowning: Um. Those are Non-Confederates.
Back when Keith Kelt and I were struggling through grammar school in Portales, New Mexico, a movie briefly drained our bluejeans pockets.
Suddenly every kid in town had to have a blue, or a grey cap with a shiny bill and crossed rifles at the front. Half-dollar at the JC Penny store had us all scrambling. Each of us tripped down to JC Penny the instant we could scrape together the gelt.
At which time probably all of us discovered we didn’t know enough to be making the decisions as we took cap after cap out of the bin, trying them on. Those of us who’d seen the movie weren’t educated enough to know much about it, aside from the fact it was bloody, violent, and exciting.
All we knew was that every kid who was anyone was wearing one of those caps.
Not until I made a fool of myself in class several years later in Junior High did I learn that the US Civil War wasn’t fought between Confederates and Non-Confederates.
Posted in 1950's, America, History, Military, Movies, New Mexico, NM, Portales, Senior Citizens
Tagged Civil War, confederate, culture, Education, forage caps, headgear, History, Human Behavior, humor, Life, lifestyle, society, sociology, Union, US
Every year I wonder about these pictures of Scrooge and others wearing pointee nightcaps. It’s a subject dear to my heart because I became an aficionado of sleeping hats when I used to do my slumbering outdoors a lot.
The function of a nightcap is to keep a person from losing his body heat through his exposed scalp and hair. Besides doing that it needs to stay on the head while you toss and turn. Those pointed hats do none of that.
I’ve tried a lot of different types of sleeping caps through the years and found it’s not easy to find one that satisfies all the minimum criteria:
This one’s sheepskin and I’ve used it for 30 years when the weather’s cold enough. But it’s stiff and doesn’t stay on all that well because one of the straps for tying under the chin broke off sometime way back there and I haven’t gotten around to fixing it. The temperature has to be not-too-warm or it becomes a cranial sweat lodge and not-too-cold because it doesn’t provide any protection to the exposed part of the neck.
A balaclava solves some of that, but it’s only one layer thick, somewhat expensive, and tends to wear out at the chin. When the ambient temperature gets down around freezing it needs some help.
They make those fleece caps for women and I find them in thrift stores for a buck frequently. When I find them, I buy them and wear them a lot, outdoors, indoors and as sleeping caps when the weather’s cold, but not cold enough for something more extreme.
During this last cold snap when the water froze inside the house I came up with this, and I like it a lot. It’s a fleece blanket folded four times lengthwise, wrapped around the head and tucked into/zipped in to the fleece vest. It stays in place and is warmer than anything I’ve ever found. It’s tempting to drag out the scissors, needle and thread and cut it down to a four-layer balaclava, but I hate to mess up that fleece blanket. The “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” school of winter headgear might apply here.
When the weather’s cool but not cold, the stocking cap is a seductive option, even though they don’t ride out the night well. I keep a stack of a dozen of them on the bookshelf above the bed so I can reach up and find one for a quick reload without turning on the light. Same concept as a fresh clip of ammo for a rifle near at hand.
Pointee hats are talk. As Tuco observed in The Good, Bad and Ugly, “When you’re going to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”
Posted in 2011, America, Country Life, Music, Outdoors, Senior Citizens, Survival, Thrift Stores
Tagged caps, clothing, country life, culture, environment, fashion, hats, headgear, home, homesteading, Human Behavior, humor, Life, lifestyle, misc, miscellaneous, music, musings, Nature, other, personal, random, senior citizens, society, survival, wisdom