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August 03, 2005

"I call him Fess or D. Boone depending on the mood."

During our vacation we ended up in a small town called Grand Marais one day. It reminded me a lot of Bellingham, WA in some ways. There are a lot of everyday folks and a lot of, *ahem*, fringe elements. (A lot of the restaurants have far reaching "mission statements".)

When we were wandering around we stopped in the local general store. It's a classic small town general store and reminded me a lot of some similar stores I spent time in growing up. The store staff looked to be related to one another, the aisles were a little too close together and it really was a one stop shop.

While poking around the aisles and pushing Jack in his stroller I found a bin of "boys hats" that seemed worth looking at. After rummaging around I found one that fit: A coonskin cap complete with tail. Score!

I hurried to the checkout, paid for the hat and immediately plunked it on Jack's head. He laughed and giggled and then just went back to looking around. Everyone at the counter thought it was great.

A few minutes later Fabulous Babe and her parents walked around the corner. As her parents laughed and said how cute he looked I got "The Look" from Fabulous Babe.

"What is that."

"It's a coonskin hat. In his size!"

"I can see."

"I had one as a kid. So did my dad."

"It looks silly."

"Everyone else likes it. He looks adorable!"

So then the stage was set. Fabulous Babe in one corner, thinking I've committed the fashion mistake of the century and me in the other thinking that Jack looked fine. (My wife's parents, though on my side, stayed completely out of the conversation.)

So how did it play out?

We must have had over 100 people tell us how cute they thought Jack was. They wanted to know where we got it. They thought he was adorable. When we walked past the general store one of the staff poked their head out and said that they had been selling them like crazy since we started telling people where we got it. Everyone who saw him smiled or said how much they liked it.

Negative comments from strangers? None.

When we left Grand Marais I was struggling not to laugh because of the hints of indignation from Fabulous Babe. I love her but she definitely staked out the wrong side of the position. *chuckle*

I don't have any good pictures of Jack in the hat. (I keep trying to capture one but they've all turned out bad.) Be assured that it is now a semi-permanant fixture in the little red wagon. (Except when it's raging hot.) When I took Jack to the bank with me the other day the hat was a huge hit and everyone wanted to know where to get one.

Hmmm. Perhaps this is a business opportunity. My store would be called "Boy's Toys" and carry nothing but the things that every little boys should have growing up. Better write that one down.

In case you're wondering the hat isn't real raccoon skin. Like so many things it's been farmed out to overseas. Be assured: No raccoons were injured in the annoying of my wife.

Posted by Jim at August 3, 2005 12:04 AM


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