Birth of a Hat: Making a Stetson

Thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation, I discovered a 1935 reprint of the original 1920 film, “Birth of a Hat” an industrial short about, and sponsored by, the John B. Stetson Company.

From the press materials: “Within ten years of its founding, Stetson developed the widely popular ‘Boss of the Plains’ hat, the inaugural model of the now-traditional cowboy hat. By the early 1900s, Stetson hats were the most popular in the American Southwest, and the company operated the largest hat factory in the world, with 5,400 employees, in Philadelphia.”

Steven Harrington x The Times Halloween Collection

TheTimes5I love this time of year. Halloween kicks off a three month party of turkey and ham and beer and wassail and cheese and season-specific desserts aplenty. Oh, and pumpkin-spiced everything.
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I first learned of the artist and designer Steven Harrington through his work with Jou-Yie Chou and the good folks at the Ace Hotel. His work feels at once a throwback to the surf and ski t-shirts I grew up with, and completely of its time. Timeless. Playful. And yet, somehow, contemplative. So you can imagine my excitement to see that he’d teamed up with The Times (short for “these are the times”), a relatively young, LA-based shop that was founded on the idea that life is all about the present moment, and much like myself, they draw inspiration from athletics and life out of doors.
This limited edition Halloween capsule really speaks to that.TheTimes2TheTimes3
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The collection includes my favorite, the white pocket “Everyday Is Halloween” tee, the Black Magic tee, Steve’s sinister October mix tape, a few Halloween treats and a special 6″ x 8″ signed photo print. Orders placed before Halloween will ship on the same day. The shirts are a super soft, 100% GMO-free organic cotton tee proudly made in California. Four-color graphic printed with water-based ink. Oh, and they three in some endlessly spooky vibes to really kick things off.
From The Times themselves, “Each October we get together with the crew for potlucks, spirits, spooky walks and scary movies. It has been a tradition for years and has become a time of year we look forward to year-round. The Times Black Magic Collection is an attempt to share some of the fun with a larger audience. We at The Times have a very close relationship with artist Steven Harrington and knowing Halloween is his favorite time of year as well we decided the capsule was in order.”
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All orders come with a download link to Steve’s “Black Magic” October mix tape, featuring some deadly Halloween faves.
Be sure to visit The Times shop to check out this ghoulish collection before it’s too late.

Danny Luckett of Louisville Slugger

Head over to Basil Hayden’s to learn more about the time I spent with Danny Luckett, the man who has shaped bats for Louisville Slugger for the last 40 years.

 

 

 

Bowmaker, Jack English

Filmmaker Grace Jackson shares the story of Jack English, a 93-year-old man who lives in a cabin isolated deep in the Ventana Wilderness.

From Grace’s profile, “While on a hunting trip he learned that an old homestead in the Ventana Wilderness was being put up for auction by the estate of a childless heiress. He put a bid on the property and won. On the land he built a small cabin using materials from the land and milling trees by hand. When his wife passed away, Jack effectively left “society” and moved to the cabin full time.”

He continues to make repairs to the cabin, chop wood, hunt, and make violin bows, a simple life for a contented man.

I deeply appreciate a profile such as this. It is a solid reminder that it really can be a good life.

Good Beer Hunting x Buckshot Sonny’s at Camp Wandawega

GBHBSSGLast year, Good Beer Hunting’s Michael Kiser and I held an epic collaborative weekend at Camp WandawegaSee Michael’s recap of last year here.

Well, this year, it’ll be as epic if not more so.

This year, October 4-6, we’re filling the weekend with more great beer, coffee, and food than last year, by collaborating with several of our friends from The Great Lakes Region: Context Clothing, FountainheadIntelligentsia, KickapooLongman & Eagle, Penrose Brewing, Publican Quality MeatsSolemn Oath Brewery, and I’m certain many more.

Sam Macon, one of the directors of Sign Painters is screening his flick while we sip cocktails made by Seth Putnam of the Overserved Society.

Today, some space became available. We’d love for you to join us for this incredible dudes’ weekend! That’s right, ladies. I’m sorry, but NO GIRLS ALLOWED.

If interested, send me an e-mail, max (at) buckshotsonnys (dot) com for more information. Act fast, as this will fill up.

Secret Forts on Cycling

08raleigh-team-usaI am an athlete. I’m fairly tall, but you wouldn’t want me on your basketball team. I suck at offense and though I’m a fierce defender, I’d probably foul out in the first half. I’ve got a sweet swing, but I’ll hit one in one hundred pitches, which — for those of you keeping score at home, is the worst batting average humanly possible. I can show you how to throw a decent spiral, but throw a bigger dude on top of me, and I’m a complete wuss. And, yeah, I can kick and kind of dribble, and I can block a pass, and I’ve owned several pairs of shinguards, and I can skate and handle a puck just fine, but not well enough to matter much to you or your stinking team. It still burns when I think about getting picked last in the soccer games played at gym and recess, or in the cul de sac roller hockey game. My own best friend once betrayed me, choosing our sworn enemy before me in order to improve his chances. Turns out, my team won, and that friend and I were never as close again. I digress.

07raleigh-team-usaI play individual sports. I was recruited to swim in college. My friends will tell you, throw a pair of skis on me, and I’ll dance down the mountain. And I never feel as free as I do when I’m on my bicycle. Which leads me to James Wilson’s most recent post on Secret Forts.

“Writing a piece on my relationship to cycling. Feels like it’s something you’d write. Like I’m channeling you somehow.”

I got this text last night from James.

“Send it to me,” I wrote back.

He sent it.

“May I edit it?”

I didn’t do too much to it: fixed some late night spelling errors, removed several erroneous parenthetical remarks (dude loves him some parentheses). It’s precisely the kind of thing I would write. Obsessive. Meandering. It’s a road trip by bicycle. It’s something I think we can all relate to, and I’m happy to see that James is writing again. Hope you find it as inspiring as I did.

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Photos of my current bicycle come courtesy of Sheldon Brown’s Retro Raleighs page.

Ezra Caldwell

I only have a cursory familiarity with Mr. Caldwell. I don’t think we ever met, and if we did, it was brief. For a time several years ago, his wife and I were coworkers. While we were, I had the unique privilege to test ride one of his early bicycles. I have yet to find a bike that rides as smoothly or as comfortably as the one I tried that day. One day, I would like to document the building of one of Ezra’s Fast Boy Cycles and perhaps own one of his fine creations. Till then, take a few minutes to watch this video and join me in becoming a fan of Mr. Ezra Caldwell.

Time-permitting, watch all the work from Made by Hand. It’s a great series, made with hearts similar to that of mine and those of my cohorts at Made Right Here.

District Millworks

Today on Whiskey. Among Other Things… I share the story of Jeremy Williams at District Millworks. While in Los Angeles earlier this year, after spending some time at Apolis’ Common Gallery with Raan Parton, he walked me over to “the mill,” as he called it. After Raan introduced us, we played a game on one of their killer shuffleboard tables, and then Jeremy showed me their skateboard presses.

 

You can see the whole story over at basilhaydens.com

Guy Clark

Guy Clark sings “My Favorite Picture of You.”

When I’d come home from college with a new mix tape for the three-hour drive in my Jeep, at some point on the visit, I would pick up my high school girlfriend for a catch-up over lunch or dinner or coffee or drinks. She’d dig her fingers into my dad’s hand-me-down sheepskin seat covers. Over the car speakers, Guy Clark would croon “Oh, Susanna, don’t you cry, babe. Love’s a gift that surely handmade,” and she’d smile and scoff, “I thought you didn’t like country music,” a reference to my poohpoohing The Dixie Chicks* while we were still together.

“This? This is different. This is real.”

Towards the end of my sophomore year of college, one of my mentors handed me a photocopy of a bunch of short stories from the singer-songwriter Steve Earle, saying something to the effect of, “Here. This is what you’re trying to do,” referring to my piss-poor attempts to write stories of the American West. Also, it didn’t hurt that the girl I had a crush on at the time was really into Steve Earle.

By the time I was a junior, in effort to channel Mr. Earle, I might have been found walking around campus with a giant afro and sideburns, wearing bell bottoms and a pearl snap, a shiny, vintage pair of pointy-toed cordovan cowboy boots, and amber colored aviators. I most likely had a guitar case at my side.

Guy and Susanna Clark

But this is a story about Guy Clark.
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BNTO

BNTO-Pack-3up-adjscaled

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The enduring appeal of the canning jar as a commonsensical, multi-functional, portable, and downright pragmatical storage tool, makes the latest offering from Aaron Panone, the guy behind Cuppow, a welcome addition to the old jar.
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