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Author’s Best Friend

In the Westward Sagas Series many of my characters wear hats. No article of clothing describes a character’s true persona better than their choice of a hat. The tricorn hat of ship captain William Whiddon in Children of the Revolution reveals his vocation and rank with no need for a narrative word. Hats are the author’s best friend. During the time span of my Westward Sagas Series (1750-1850) nearly everyone wore hats.

Today, few choose to wear a cover over their head. Hats for men and women, were in vogue during my parents’ generation. I remember my father always wore a hat. A fedora for dress and wide brim open-road Stetson for casual wear. Family picture below with large group of cattlemen and women all but a few in hats. John F. Kennedy was the first President that didn’t wear a hat at his inauguration. Many say JFK created the hatless society. I think the decline of hats was the result of the low sleek design of newer automobiles and pick-ups. The automobile industry no longer allows head room for a hat in their cars. A six-foot person could sit comfortable with a hat in most vehicles of the 40’s and 50’s. Not so in today’s vehicles. More on hats to come at

Van Cleve family at a ca. 1950’s Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association meeting in Dallas hand on the steer Caswell Van Cleve, center Delbert and Jack Van Cleve. Jack was a well-known Texas Ranger in South Texas 1957-1980.

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