Being as how Easter’s on it’s way, I’m reminded it’s time for all of us Central Texas Cowboys to switch from wearing felt hats to our new straw hats. It’s a tradition born of practicality as we face temperatures that will begin to soar into the three digits all too soon (Of course we just had the Easter norther, and the tomatoes appear to have survived temps in the mid 30’s).
Interesting that geography dictates the headgear worn by Cowboys as well. For instance in North Texas and the Panhandle many cowboys tend to wear felt hats all year, partly because it’s less humid there, and also because the wind blows straw hats off your head more readily.
Speaking of straw hat blowing in the wind, I remember an old friend whom I worked cattle with in New Mexico, named Frank Gallegos. He was a brand inspector for a long time, but in his youth he went to Nevada to work on a big outfit like the I L Ranch. He said the cow-boss was a transplanted Texan who never quite became enamored of Great Basin Traditions. One day in a fit of pique, the boss burst out,
“well, darn, if it weren’t for breaking them dang rawhide reatas, re-tying them lace-up boots, re-cinching them center-fire saddles, and chasing them danged straw hats, we could maybe get some work done around here!”