Hat News

Hat News

Item 1. After a cumulative five months walking around harbors, I can report that I have just seen a Greek fisherman wearing a Greek fisherman’s cap.

2. I was talking with a guy on the sea wall near the Temple of Apollo when a gust of wind picked up his hat and flung it like a frisbee. It settled, floating perfectly above the transparent green water, crown up, red band undisturbed. He stared and thought. “Finished,” he said and turned back to a bas-relief of the temple that he was carving on a scrap of marble with a dremel tool. There were ten of them laid out in a row on top of the wall.

“But what a fine hat!”

He turned his palms up. “It is finished.”

Below us on a strip of sand a man in swimming trunks stepped into the water. He was frail with wisps of white hair and bony shoulders. He began walking slowly toward the hat, losing his balance on the rocky bottom. The hat was moving gradually out from the lee of the sea wall and picking up speed toward Paros. The man kept going. I don’t think he could swim. It was a race against the wind. When the water was up to his neck, he threw out one arm and caught the brim of the hat. He raised it in the air and stumbled back, rewarded by a chorus of whistles, “Bravo’s!” and clapping.

So, it wasn’t finished.