My wife bought me a fedora as a wedding gift just before we married in 1985 from the Biltmore factory here in Guelph and it has been one of my prized possessions ever since. A loving gift. A stylish and shady gift!
This past Sunday, at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, I was volunteering as the ‘AV’ or ‘Sound’ guy. I had helped the sound company set up the microphones and other equipment that morning and so I was the guy who could solve the problems as they occurred. One of the more complicated sites to set up was the Adisokaun or aboriginal venue because it was long and narrow. So it required extra volume and a special delay speaker set up. So I had to be there when John Ralson Saul and Drew Hayden Taylor began the first session: I had to turn up the volume and make sure it was loud enough.
It was well that I did since neither John nor Drew liked the idea of doing their interview on the platform we had set up. So I brought the mike down and set up their chairs. This was in the glaring stare of the full sun so I offered John my hat when I finished the set up. He accepted and so I have a terrific picture of a great Canadian intellectual and writer, and flashy dresser to boot, wearing my hat.
Afterward, impressed by both of them, I purchased A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada and Me Funny at the Bookshelf table afterward and had them both sign their book. John, ever the gentleman, thanked me for saving his life in writing in my copy of his book!