Of course, when I left, the hat left with me. If I was wavering at all about the purchase, the comment that gal made pushed me toward the cash register, although I'm not sure it was the hat she was referring to.....But that's another story....
So up the road I go, stopping in my new favorite haunt, Olney, Maryland, where I met riding friends and began shooting the breeze. Soon, the hat became a subject of conversation, and I mentioned that the hat was actually brand new, and only looked like it was filthy and 20 years old. Peeps weren't buying it, passing it around for inspection and opinions. The verdict was that it actually was 20 years old, and very, very filthy. In other words, it had class! The bond between the hat and I became instantly permanent.
Last weekend, I met up with some old friends, and we made the rounds of Anne Arundel County Maryland biker hangouts, including Reckless Ricks, Glen Burnie, and Daniels, in Elkridge. We had a terrific day, telling stories about last year and about the good old days, which really were good old days. Great memories. And I wore my hat!
Well, not so cool. When I parked, I realized I hadn't zipped up my carry bag when I left Daniels, and the sleeve of a spare t-shirt was hanging out. When I opened the lid, I noticed my spare (and very cheap) "novelty" helmet was gone, along with a pair of goggles.
And the hat. Booooooo.
To say I was bummed out doesn't begin to tell the story. For whatever reason, I had gotten attached to the damn hat, and I knew there wasn't another one to be had. I looked online on the HD site, on eBay, countless other places, and nary a one to be found. Bummer.
So the next day, I had a tattoo appointment in Baltimore, and on the way home, at the suggestion of a friend, I retraced my steps along that 60-mile highway run. About the time I'd given up, while running along a congested section of I-495, low and behold there was the hat, sitting on the shoulder next to the fast lane! I parked in the median, walked back, jumped the guard rail and snatched it up before wind blew it under the wheels of passing traffic. Totally cool.
Now I know finding that hat might not seem like much, but I was tickled pink to get it back, and it reminded me that sometimes it's the little things that make life fun, plus I have this gnarly old hat to remind me of that.
And yeah, it's also a reminder to zip that damn bag up next time!
PS Here's the new tat...Artwork by Sean Bajek at Saints and Sinners, Fells Point, Baltimore, Maryland. Tell him Cowboy sent ya.