A cross I have had to bear since my birth is my IMMENSE head! Most men wear a 7 1/2 size hat or something in that neighborhood. I wear an 8 1/8! Mine is a big, bowling ball noggin’.
Even as a baby my giant cranium stood out. When my parents took me home from the hospital the nurses after seeing my feet, hands and head thought I was coming in for my 1 year check up. It has always been dubbed a “Charlie Brown” head. I have never had much hair and what little I had has had to be spread over my “Jumbo Dome.” My parents told me because of its size, I had difficulty lifting my head when I was a baby. They said when I did, I was pulled side to side as I attempted to keep this boulder balanced.
As a little guy, I followed “Prince Valiant” in the comic strips and my parents got me his outfit for Christmas. My head was so big, my mother had to split the sides of his helmet so it would fit on my punkin’ head. Ball caps fit me like a Yarmulke and could never be pulled all the way on. When I did force them down they would pop off my head with a “ping” when I let go of the bill.
I was wearing a man sized cowboy hat when I was a kid and it appears this “cro magnon-like” skull has been passed down to some of my heirs. My oldest son, Zac, has this same impressive skull and my 3 year old grandson, Charlie, is wearing men’s ball caps to cover his head. We three all experience difficulty getting our heads through pull-over shirts and while little children do not run from us in horror, it is laughably noticeable anytime we try on a cap that says, “One size fits all.”
When photos appear of me with others, particularly my grandchildren, my head appears to be an oversized balloon, possibly filled with helium and about to float away. My little ones feel this accounts for my baldness. “You have as much hair as anyone…your head’s just too big!”
Fortunately, there have been a couple of vendors who have pulled me through over the years. There is an outfit called, “Big Head Caps”, that designs a ball cap that fits humongous heads. Their tag is “Hats for the Cranially Endowed”!
Another is Manny Gammage's “Texas Hatters”, who made all the hats for the movie “Lonesome Dove.” When I learned about their abilities with hats, (“If you can imagine it, I can make it”), I made the pilgrimage to Buda, Texas and introduced myself. Manny measured my head, shook his head, called people out from the back to see it for themselves and remeasured it a couple more times. He laughed and said, “This will be interesting.” He made me a hat…and it was a dandy! He made me several more and today, his daughter Joella and son-in-law David make my hats. It is always a challenge and sometimes a trial-and-error process. However, they are professional and have delivered a terrific product over the years. I need to rein in on buying any more hats. I can never get the wear out of all of them. As Mizz Nancy has said, I have more hats than Texas Hatter’s has hats on display at their store.
However, it is comforting to know with Zac and Charlie walking the earth, I will have someone to leave my hats to when the Lord calls me home. At least they will not wind up in a museum, like the bones of The Elephant Man, where people would gather, marvel and wonder how such a massive head was possible in this day and age.