Pheats of Phrasing – Wanda Campbell’s Hat Girl

Your humble blogger/author (or “blogthor”) will be making regular postings of random passage excerpts from various tomes in his far-too-large library. Today, in Pheats of Phrasing: Wanda Campbell’s Hat Girl (Signature Editions, 2013).

Hat GirlIt was my father’s hat. I always thought of it as a funny hat, because of Charlie Chaplin who wanted everything to be a contradiction, baggy pants, tight coat, large shoes, small hat. But for my father, it was a deadly serious hat. If the deerstalker was his serious country hat, this was his serious city hat, as serious as a London Banker. No doubt you have seen the famous painting by René Magritte called The Son of Man, with a man in a bowler hat and a green apple all by covering his face. There was another painting done in the same year, 1964, called Man in the Bowler Hat, which instead of an apple has a white bird obscuring the face of the man in the suit, even his eyes. For me, this was my father. always a bird between me and his face. When he dies and I inherited this hat, I took one of the artificial doves which I had hanging on my Christmas tree that year, and fixed it to the brim, in homage to Magritte. A white bird on a black hat. Maybe it was a final act of defiance. Maybe it was a gesture of peace.