I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Jim Whittington, a local hatmaker yesterday. As I walked through the front door, Jim was busy helping a female customer with her wedding order. So I politely waited. Looking around, I was immediately struck by the hundreds of fur hats that filled the main room. While most were Western style hats, I’d also made out other types as well, notably straws, Panamas, and fedoras. Mixed together were a smattering of antiques, vintage sewing machines and Western photos. An old barber chair was tucked near a corner covered with hats. I thought nothing of it but would later learned that the infamous Billy the Kid had sat down in it many years ago for a shave.
This is Rogelio, a customer of J.W. Hats. He had stopped by to see the progress of his order. Above, Rogelio sits proudly wearing his new cowboy hat – just barely formed and fitted seconds before.