A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Ode To Red


Of the baseball caps I have accumulated over the years, there is just one that fits right, no matter how sweat-stained and faded.

Maybe you have one like it: The one you reach for on a bad hair day, the one that doesn’t puff up too much on top, one that your friends identify as your look. A signature cap.

My kids tease me about mine, especially on this trip since I rarely go out bare-headed. Conor says he can’t find me in a crowd without it. They call it “Red.”

I have been looking for a back-up hat for Red in souvenir shops on vacations since our newlywed days. Just in case—well, in case I lost it.

I have tried on hundreds of baseball caps to no avail.

My head must be some crazy “off” size. Childrens’ hats don’t work, nor do Ladies’. The adjustability feature doesn’t help. The ridge comes down over my ears or too much fabric bunches up top. To be sure, I am picky. Nothing looked as good as Red.

Dani & Conor in Quito

But all those years of trying-on-and-not-finding didn’t really matter.

Because I never lost Red. Not in the sea during a windy sail in St. Johns. Not from a New Mexican mesa’s edge in a sudden gust. Not between Galapagos Islands when the wind was blowing over the bow. Not walking the ruins at Ollytantambo when a dust twister blew past.

That hat, my signature cap, seemed practically part of my head. And it wasn’t going anywhere. I pictured myself wearing it over the grey at the assisted care facility one day.

By now you may have guessed the reason for this desperate essay. Red is gone. And not because of some glorious, memorable adventure.

The cap, my little topper, is riding along in some Cusco taxi.

Maybe as blue as I am.

September 12, 2008   8 Comments

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