One of my favorite books when I was young was The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, by Dr Seuss. I think it's a brilliant story still, but back in those days, I thought it was one of the most adventurous and funny stories I'd ever read. Nowadays, whenever I happen to wear a hat (which isn't often), and I take it off, I always think of how Bartholomew felt at the top of the tower, facing death, when he took off that last hat and felt the wind in his hair. That's some powerful literature!
As a child, I lived in an age when a man wearing a hat - and I don't mean those cheapo baseball caps and I don't mean those silly "beanies" some guys wear all the time and never take off, not even in restaurants, and what's this world coming to anyhow, etc - was changing from the norm to the unusual. My father didn't wear a hat, not that I remember, anyhow, but my grandfather still did on occasion. In fact, he had a collection of hats, and some of them hung in his garage. He had some old fedoras and a couple of straw hats out there that he sometimes wore when he was doing yard work. I had a bit of a fascination with hats at that time. I had just seen the movie Savage Sam and I really wanted a hat like Arliss wore. It so happened that one of my grandfather's old hats looked a lot like Arliss's hat. So one day I got up the courage to ask my grandpa if I could have that hat, and he said yes. I had it for a lot of years, and then it kind of disappeared. I don't know what happened to it. It was sort of beat up, so maybe my mom got rid of it.
My grandpa gave me another hat later on, another fedora, this one in somewhat better shape. And I've hung on to this one. So that's the hat I'm using for the contest drawing.
I wrote the names of all the people who entered the drawing on slips of paper, which I crumpled up into tiny balls and put in my grandfather's hat. I wanted to find someone completely unbiased and with no stake in the proceedings to do the drawing, so I asked Sylvester. He declined, however, for reasons of health. So then I asked Ian. He also declined at first, then changed his mind and accepted, for reasons of health. The proceedings were viewed by two independent observers (Piper and Skipper) who verified that everything went down the way it was supposed to. I tell you this so you will know that I had nothing to do with the outcome.
And the winner is Megan! Congratulations, and thanks, everyone, for participating.