About the Hat Tipping

Since I’ve written about the gentlemen and also about cowboy hats, and since I’ve had comments about the gentlemen who still tip those hats to ladies… I’ve just had that on my mind.  You know me!  Once it’s on the mind, it’s got to find its way onto paper.  (Or onto a computer screen, as the case may be.)

Most of you who read my weblog are no stranger to this wonderful custom.  And if you’ve never experienced it in person, you’ve most certainly seen it on some great movie.  I grew up with it.  And you know how I always have to get a lump in my throat when the littlest hint of nostalgia comes my way.  I remember the first time I was moved to tears over the tip of a cowboy hat.  We were watching “Man From Snowy River” with some friends, and apparently I was homesick.  I can’t even be sure of the exact scene… but a cowboy tipped his hat to a lady, and I either cheered or burst into tears.  Not sure of that part either.  (It was many years ago, so I’m a little sketchy on the details.) But I do know it was that movie, and I do remember our friend saying, “Oh Sandy!  You’re such a romantic.”  He wasn’t from the southwest, and he wasn’t a cowboy, so he just had no idea what a gesture like that would mean to a girl thousands of miles from home.

My mom loves to direct movies in her mind, and she loves to capture scenes with her oil paintings.  I didn’t get the painting talent, but I do love to memorize a scene and I do love to write it down.  So, of course, I’ve got a hat-tipping scene in mind.

It was last summer, and we had this great adventure in the Pecos Wilderness.  (Actually, it’s the very first post on my blog, come to think of it.)  Gary and I were hiking in with our nephew, carrying all our gear in backpacks.  My dad, my uncle, and a friend of theirs I’d never met were ahead of us with mules and packhorses… going to set up a great outdoor kitchen and stock it with steak and potatoes and bacon and eggs.  Okay… and ingredients for cobblers and hush puppies and pancakes.  I shouldn’t have even started that list.  It just goes on!

Well, we hiked for hours with our backpacks, into the wilderness, over the river, through the woods.  I have such a clear picture of hiking into that camp… mules, saddles, food, canopies.  The men were greeting us and introducing us to Jim.  And you know how this ends.  He was a gentleman cowboy who nodded his head slightly, tipped his hat, and said “Nice to meet you, ma’am”.  It was the perfect ending to a long and strenuous hike.

Indeed… I’m a hopeless romantic.  Not for chocolates and diamonds.  But for those moments in our lives marked by good old-fashioned manners.  When men are gentlemen, women are ladies, and the world is a kind place to be.

What a treat for me.  I’m surrounded by gentlemen who wear good hats.  (And who know how to tip them!)

8 Responses to “About the Hat Tipping”

  1. Micah says:

    Love this post!

  2. Janice says:

    Such pride and integrity for a man to tip his hat. Love it!

  3. lawanda calton says:

    Loving the story and also the photos!

  4. Marcea Clive says:

    He happened to be the one I was thinking of when I wrote my comment……….gives me goosebumps……….

  5. Sharon Davis says:

    Such a nice blog, I can’t tell you how many times the “boys” have lined up after a branding dinner and said, “thank you ma’am for lunch” as they tipped their hats and jingled their spurs across the floor. I love this life!

  6. Jan says:

    There is a special place in my heart for a true gentleman! We need more of them them in the world.

  7. Robin Green says:

    I love you, Sandy.

  8. Doris McAfee says:

    Enjoyed this blog, I can still see my Daddy tipping his hat to ladies on a Saturday afternoon in Portales when we would be walking down the sidewalk!

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