Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hat Trick

Horse trading.
A term that doesn’t necessarily include horses.
My Father-In-Law, Ray Tolley, hereinafter known as FIL, was a master at the Art.
How do you get to be a master?
Continue and see my young apprentice . . .
FIL, when he left the farm, always wore a fedora. A smart, jaunty fedora.
His old one was getting . . . less than smart.
And a degree off jaunty.
He was in need of a new hat.
A fact that coincided with a 1960 trip into Montana with his wife and kids.
While they shopped elsewhere, FIL went into the local millinery (hat shop) and looked around.
Several possibilities immediately presented themselves.
And quickly narrowed to one.
Choice made, FIL happily carted it over to the salesman.
“This is the one I’d like,” he said.
Or words to that effect.
I wan’t there, so I’m Making It Up As I Go.
Back to my story . . .
“That’s is a fine hat, sir.” (More MIUAIG.)
“Yes. Can we make a deal?”
The salesman looked at the hat and went into his spiel. “This is one of our finest Field hats, sir. Brushed fur felt with a silk-like finish. Notice the new, open telescope shape with narrow sport brim and upper welt edge.” He pointed to the hatband. “Included is the rayon and cotton grosgrain band, with single-wing side bow and feather.” He turned the hat over. “A reeded, roan leather, cushioned sweatband and rayon, acetate lining.” He looked at FIL. “It comes in the two-tone iodeon green, and two-tone brown as well as this gray.”
See how good my imagination is? And how much you can find out on Google?
Ahem . . .
“No, I’m just interested in the grey. How much?”
“Ah. You can see that it is marked with today’s special price of $7.64.”
“Okay. Let me ask you something.” FIL took off his well-cared-for but distinctly used hat. “How much would you give me on a trade?”
A few minutes later, FIL emerged from the store wearing his smart and jaunty new hat.
MIL looked at it. “Nice. How much?”
“Well, here’s the thing. The original price was over seven dollars.”
She sucked in a breath. “Seven?!”
“Yes. But I didn’t pay that.”
She stared at him. She was used to Dad. “Okay. How much.”
“Well, you see, I traded him my old hat for this one.”
“What?”
“Yeah. He gave me $2.00 for it.”
MIL shook her head. “Why on earth would he give you $2.00 for that old hat?”
“Well, I told him that was how we did it in Canada. And he didn’t want to be outdone by some milliner in Canada. So he sold the new hat to me for $5.00 and took my old hat in trade.”
Horse trading.
It doesn’t always include horses.
But it is always entertaining.

8 comments:

  1. Too funny and shrewd! What a great story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Haralee! He was a fun man!

      Delete
  2. I think that horse-traders are born not made...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh this made me laugh! You just crack me up. I have a picture of my grandfather (whom I never met) wearing a hat just like that. I wonder if he got a bargain as well!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, if there are vehicle trade-ins, why not hat trade-ins? Makes perfect sense :)

    ReplyDelete

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