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Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

Grandpa: The best hat of all

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I have always liked hats.

One of my favorite photos of myself growing up was of me caught sitting on the potty reading a Porky the Pig comic book wearing one of my dad's bowler hats. I was just 2 or 3 years old at the time. My oldest sister, Rita, had just gotten herself a camera for Christmas and she was busy snapping candid photos of the family. Such as me in my dad's hat on the toilet.

That picture hung in a prominent place in our family bathroom for years. It now sits in a box of photos here in our house.

I had a wonderful hat that was a certified Indiana Jones fedora that I wore proudly for several years. I wore it on one of my trips to the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona years ago. A Navajo preacher friend of mine, Roy Begay, became smitten with that hat. As a gesture of kindness and friendship I gave my fedora to him before I left to return home. I missed that hat for a long time, mourned its loss really. Years later I came across a similar one in a store, but I couldn't find one that fit my big head.

I had a real nice cowboy hat that I found in a western wear store that I had specially shaped and fitted to my head. I loved that hat, but I didn't wear it that often. It was really too big and fancy. More of a show piece really. It sat on a shelf in my closet for a long time.

We had a fundraiser for a mission trip one time, and I decided that my cowboy hat might bring a little money in the sale, so off the shelf it came and onto the sales table it went. I was ready to change my mind and take that hat back home with me when a young man from the church picked up the hat. I watched as he tried it on and surprisingly it fit his head and he decided to buy it. So I said a final farewell to another hat.

I have an old straw hat that I still wear on rare occasions, but that too sits on a shelf in my closet most of the time. But, now if I put a hat on my head, it is usually one of my odd assortment of baseball caps.

I have a dark blue cap with a big fancy D on it. Most people think it is a Detroit Tigers hat, but not me. That big D stands for Doug Dezotell.

I have a nice silver and white cap with a fancy A on it. Some folks may say that it's an Atlanta Braves hat, but no sir. That fancy A stands for Alpha Dezotell Scott, my mother. She was the Big A!

Then I have several caps with NY on them. One dark blue and one tan. Those caps don't stand for the New York Yankees, but to me they are a reminder that I have Not Yet arrived. NY is not yet. I am in the process of becoming what God wants me to be, but I am Not Yet there. I am on my way to Heaven, but I am Not Yet there.

And I have a nice dark blue cap with a big M on it. Now that one does represent the Minnesota Twins. I was a big Twins fan growing up on the Minnesota border, not too far away from Minneapolis-St. Paul. I bought that cap in Minnesota and it sits on my shelf in the closet too.

But, you know, the hat that I am the most thrilled to be able to wear these days is the Grandpa hat. I put that hat on proudly. I have two beautiful little granddaughters that have won my heart since the minute I first laid eyes on them. Charli Dezotell is 2 years old, almost 3. Kori Dezotell is 5 months old.

I recently had the privilege of taking care of them both together. I smile a lot when I am with these little ladies. I smile and change diapers and wipe bottoms. I smile and watch cartoons and listen to silly songs. I smile and fix Kori a bottle. I smile and give Charli a cookie. No wait, she's figured out how to get the cookies herself.

Yes sir, I like my Grandpa Hat the best. I would love to have another Indiana Jones hat, and maybe someday I'll get another fancy cowboy hat. But, the next hats I buy will be ones with a big C for Charli and a big K for Kori. Or one with a big G for Grandpa or a big P for Papa.

With winter coming on, I might just get my stocking cap to keep my big head warm.

-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at dougmdezotell@yahoo.com.

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Mr Dezotell,

I tried e-mailing you and my computer won't let me. I have a TON of newborn girl winter clothing that my newborn quickly outgrew. I hate the thought of throwing them away almost as much as I hate the thought of selling them or giving them to Goodwill. I'd like them to go for no charge to a truely needy mother/mother-to-be. The Angel Tree program informed me that they don't take 2ndhand things. I'm a single mother and was fournate enough to have the amazing support of my parents. But I'd love to help out a lady and her baby who don't have that all to often taken for granted blessing. Could you direct me to any mothers you know or any churches anything that takes 2nd hand clothes? Thanks so much in advance. :)

-- Posted by freakyfriday on Fri, Nov 25, 2011, at 3:29 PM

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Doug Dezotell
Memories and Musings
Doug Dezotell is pastor of Cannon United Methodist Church and a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette.