Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hat Adventure

A kind and resourceful gentleman called me out of the blue to say he had my hat, my Paul Kaufman original, my Quaker futurist hat aka Chicago crime boss hat, and could he bring it to me. I was flabbergasted, not yet having realized I'd left the thing at a McMenamins closer to Michael's and Anna's place. My name is on the inside and a quick cell call to Arizona had revealed my phone number.

Sure enough and true to his word, Joseph showed up soon thereafter, saving me the long drive on I-5. I invited him out for beers (Bridgeport this time) and we started interviewing one another, playing twenty questions ("am I bigger than a bread box?" I asked).

Hey, we're both Princeton alums, about the same age, both have daughters. I got his card, in addition to getting my hat back, invited him to Wanderers. Joseph is a hat connoisseur, has many himself, and knows Paul well by reputation, would like to meet him someday.

The hat itself is in primo condition these days, my having just gotten it serviced by Paul himself. It's pretty much my only hat, used to be more of a dome, wanted something Hopi. Later, we creased it and put the Chicago style band, but it's still too broad-brimmed to pass for Prohibition Era gangsta. As a Quaker futurist hat, it works, shows up all over Facebook, where my identity as a Q is rather pronounced (vs. on MySpace, where I'm more like a record label -- see right margin for links).

Joseph and I both had warm memories of Dr. Harold Kuhn, the linear programming guy. Joseph had actually worked for him in some capacity, somewhere along his math to computers trajectory, whereas I had him for a teacher, when dabbling in this liberal art department, somewhere between Problems of World Hunger (Woody Woo) and The History of Mentalities (spacey literature). Speaking of spacey, I spaced out doing a required paper for Vic's class, earned me an F, dang, plus I'd've gotten a low grade in Arabic if it hadn't been pass / fail.