Brown hat.

I’ve never been one to wear hats. Especially not hats with team logos on them. But years ago, I found myself in need of something to block the sun and I happened to be visiting my hometown—home of the Jayhawks. Around there, it’s hard to buy toilet paper without the fictional bird on it, let alone any sort of apparel. So I wound up with a hat. With a bird on it. With sports-like connections.

That brown hat served me well for nearly ten years. It was a conversation starter. It was the reason I met and became friends with Mark Smirl. I walked, rode, drove and mowed many miles in that funny hat with a bird on it. When people asked about sports, I made sure to clarify that the hat wasn’t about any team, but instead just a souvenir from the place where I born and raised. I grew to love the brown hat and it grew old—eventually getting so worn and tattered that I decided wearing it made me look more like a homeless guy than a Kansas guy.

This past Saturday, I replaced my beloved brown hat with an exact replica. Same brand. Same color. Same strange bird on the front. Seemingly insignificant in the great scheme of things, I have to admit that the whole cycle makes me wonder where I’ll be ten years from now. I guess whatever comes my way, one thing’s for sure—the hat will remain the same.

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