Flat Luci accompanied me on Saturday, Oct. 22, to The Hatterie in Akron to buy my birthday hat. My friend Dale sent money from Lincoln, Nebraska for the hat.
Dale and I met in September 1972 in Canton Youth Symphony. We both played violin and were stand partners. Dale plays viola in an orchestra in Lincoln.
For my birthday I bought a steampunk top hat. It is black with funny decorations.
Steampunk is a type of science fiction set in the late 1800s, and many stories feature strange machines and robots using steam power. Robots, though, were called automatons because the word robot was invented in 1921 for a play.
A new word is called a neologism — neo means new, and logism comes from the Greek word logos, which means word. It’s called coining a word when you make up a new word.
I plan to wear my steampunk hat when I plays music of the 1800s, and perhaps I’ll wear it for Halloween, which will be over when you read this.
The Hatterie has been in business for about 100 years, and its slogan is “Kelly Crowns Them All.” The store was on South Main Street in downtown Akron until a few years ago.
I have worn unusual hats since I was in high school, and the first time I visited The Hatterie I didn’t know which way to look because the store had so many hats and caps.
I like hats of the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, and I like newsboy caps for regular wear. They are round and are divided into sections like a pie, and they get their name from boys who used to wear them while selling newspapers on city streets.
The Hatterie is owned by Dan Kelly, grandson of another Dan Kelly, who started the store and a hat factory in 1908. Dan will help you find a hat that looks good and fits well. When I bought my hat he made several adjustments until it fit just right.
The store is across the street from Chapel Hill Mall, on one of several high hills in Akron. The Cuyahoga River flows nearby, creating scenic views of the river valley from the area around the mall.