Now that the snow is gone, Spring has sprung, and summer's just round the corner, it's time for one merry group of folks to break out the high socks, walkin' sticks and, of course Tilley Hats. We all encounter them throughout the summer months on the hiking trails, outside the library, in line at the post office, and even just wandering around your subdivision. And you've probably got one in your family...
Tilley Hat people vary in age and ethnicity - and by that I mean they're all white dudes with beards and khakis.
Between them, a complete oral history of train stations in North America.
Tilley Hat folk are filled to the brim you might say, with an assortment of mind numbing facts and stories about trolleys and migratory birds - facts that they keep loaded in the chamber in the event that they sit next to you on the crosstown bus or optometrist's office.
Their homes are decorated with wooden ducks, model ships, and wicker furniture; ham radio parts are strewn about the workbench in the garage, piled atop photo albums filled with stamps. In the den, books about everything from Locomotives to other types of Locomotives and for some reason their veranda is full of these fuckin wooden swirly wind chimey things:
In addition to their affection for publicly funded radio (they rarely contribute though) the chief pass-time of a Tilley Hat person is hiking around the city with a tree branch/walking staff and generally just annoying the shit out of people with banal conversations starters that begin with "you know back in 1967..."
Here's a brief list of things Tilley Hat people find riveting conversation starters:
"I need my Rx eyeglasses for Bird Watching."
"That's the church where Deb and Walt got married."
"Today I'm going to Soft Moc to see what bargains can be had on moccasins."
"You know that bridge was originally named after Guy Lombardo, who's real name was Gaetano."
"Ooh, a black-capped Chickadee, that's one more for Migratory Bird Jeopardy"
Occasionally, one of them dares to enter the challenging world of computing. Here's a blog by a genuine Tilley Hat dude. One has to always ensure an exit strategy when happening upon a Tilley Hat Person otherwise you can become trapped as they wax philosophical about Garfield Comics and types of bagels available at the bakery up the street.
I'm not a praying person per-se, but I pray to whatever entity that by the time I'm ready to retire, I have more planned than the nomadic existence of socks with sandals and collections of Maritime beach stones from the East Coast. Fortunately, the powers that be keep rolling back the age of retirement, so I don't have to worry about it until I'm in my 90's and too daft to care that I've already shit my pants on the bus twice that morning.
If it wasn't for their university education and comfortable pension from the electric company, they would really just be homeless people. Both wander the world aimlessly in search of a good story. Only for Tilley Hats, it's a story about a bridge...