Where have all those hats gone in the past 30 years

My sister, Linda, reminded me Friday night that she had found two hats of mine. She had thought that they were lost.
One was from Red Lake’s Norseman festival while the other said “bass angler” on it.
Perhaps they may have been lost, but the two were strategically placed so that I could use them at a moment’s notice. The hats are all found close to outside doors.
It brought forth a question from one of our guests at the dinner table. In a bit of humour, FFCBC angler Phil Bangert wondered, “What happens to baseball caps?”
He went on. “You know we all get them, but whatever happens to them. Where do they go? What happens in the end?”
And then he challenged me. “You’re a good newspaper man. You should find out what happens to baseball caps in the end.”
Today’s current baseball cap owes its style to the Brooklyn Excelsiors from 1860. The style with the five or six panels caught on in 1900. And they became a selling medium in the early 1970s for companies to promote their businesses.
Men all over the world began collecting them. Today, women also are big collectors of these hats.
My wife seems to keep track of my hats at home. Those that are in active use go up into the corner of closet. Those that haven’t seen a hair in several months go into “Jim’s hat box.”
Once there, they are bound for somewhere else.
That is the thing about my baseball caps. At any one time, I have at least a dozen on the go. I’ll wear one, put it down, and pick up another depending on my mood.
In summer, the hat is more likely to be light-coloured while the shades may be darker in the other months. I have a soft black wool cap that I really enjoy in late fall or early spring.
When I am woodworking, I like to wear one that doesn’t collect dust. I’ve learned the lesson that coming back into the house full of dust and shaking my head to remove that dust really isn’t a good idea.
The hat cuts down on the dust and can stay in the shop along with my apron.
There isn’t a baseball hat in my collection that I have paid for. They all are advertising for some business and several carry the Fort Frances Times logo.
The hats have come from a great variety of businesses across Canada. And I do appreciate them. Some continue to be in my favourite grouping for years while others can come and disappear in a few months.
Some make it to the lake, and some seem to move between the lake and home.
You can tell a lot about my hats. Some were soaked from being caught in the rain while fishing and have become really soft. Others have a large salt ban that runs out on the brim and up on the beanie part.
Others are heavy canvass and seem to wear forever.
I was given a really neat hat on Saturday that has a long brim and a covering that drops down over my ears and back of the neck to prevent sunburn. And it worked!
As such, it is going to do a lot of travelling back and forth to the cabin.
But that gets back to Phil’s questions. Where do baseball caps go. I suspect that our spouses play a role in their final disappearance, but I am not sure.
There are lots of things that disappear, but where have all of those hats gone in the last 30 years?

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