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The Patrick Hand Original™ Planter's Hat, Page 2

Mission's Adventures with the Patrick Hand Original™ Planter's Hat

The Patrick Hand Hat By Itself
Photo: Mission
Getting the hat was only half the fun. I can distinctly remember how interesting the effect the brim had on the sound when I first got it. It was if all the sounds happening above the brim were dampened, which at the time I thought was curious.

Even more curious is that the effect seemed to have gone away by the next event. I don't know if it was because I had gotten used to the sound alteration or if it was because the brim was not as flat after that first weekend in Key West.

Whatever the case, I have not had the same experience since then. (I even ironed the brim to make it flat again to try and regain this quality of the hat. It seemed to make no difference.

As time went on, more and more people associated the hat with me instead of Patrick because I was the one who always wore it. People in the reenacting community began to refer to it as the Mission hat. (People outside the reenacting community referred to it as a pilgrim hat. I can see how it looks like such.)

At some point that hat took on a life of its own, although one that was still connected to me. I think this really Stynky in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mission
Stynky in the Patrick Hand Hat at
Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion 2011
began with Stynky's Hat Swap Game, which took place Saturday night during Pirates in Paradise in 2008. (If you've read this far, you should really, really go read or re-read the Hat Swap Game page before continuing. We'll wait here for you.) When I asked Stynky why he started the hat swap game, he laughed and said it was mainly because people were so connected to their hats at pirate events that he thought it would be funny to shake things up.

Stynky Tudor likes to engage in what I think of as playfulness with an edge. Probably the best example of this I can offer is the episode of my missing mug. When I got home from Pirates in Paradise in 2008, I couldn't find the mug. I figured it was lost until Stynky announced on the Piracy Pub that he had brought a variety of mugs home with him from the event and would send them back to anyone who was missing them.

I contacted him, describing the mug and he promptly each of three mugs he had - one at a time - on my company's UPS account. None of them were mine or matched the description. As it happened, Stynky in the Original Hat Swap Game
Photo: Mission
Stynky With the Patrick Hand Original and the Original Patrick Hand.
From the 2008 Hat Swap Game.
(He Hates This Image.)
I had not lost my mug at all, but had actually shipped it home UPS with my surgical gear. Stynky just thought it would be funny to ship them all to me. (There is a great deal more to this story involving the shooting of several innocent mugs, but to go into detail would be to lose sight of our subject. If you want, you can read about the injured mugs on your own time. Note that we're not going to wait here for you this time.)

This 'playfulness with an edge' combined with Stynky starting the Hat Swap Game at Pirates in Paradise 2008 made me fear that Stynky would attempt to steal the Patrick Hand Original™ Planter's Hat at Pirates in Paradise in 2009. He kind of hinted that he might, perhaps because it had become so closely identified with me by then.

As a result, I jealously guarded the thing the next year. My fears turned out to be unfounded; the sprite that he is, Stynky had little interest in repeating the stealing gag on me and moved on to better gags.

Mission Swapping Hats with Mark Moss
Photo: Mission's Camera
OK, this is an AWFUL Photo of me swapping hats with Mark Moss.
However, it's one of the few Hat Swap 'action" photos.
After I had written about the Hat Swap Game in my Journal, the game became a "thing". I am probably more responsible for perpetuating this than anyone, because I had so much fun with it the first time.

I have been known, after having been out after hours and having had a few (or many) drinks to start the game, which sometimes extends far beyond the half dozen people I know well enough to grab their topper and switch it with mine. (As fun as the game is, it can be challenging to track down your lid when a dozen or twenty people in a crowd have been involved in hat trading - especially after you've imbibed deeply. Fortunately my hat is pretty easy to recognize.)

In addition to the Stynky edition of the Hat Swap Game from 2008, we've had rounds of Hat Swapping at the Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion in 2011 and 2012, Put-in-Bay in 2011 and 2013, as well as a sorta', kinda' unofficial version at Brigand's Grove in 2011. There will no doubt be others. Below are several odd (truly odd) favorite images from the Hat Swap Game archives.

Cannibal Chrispy Patrick Hand Hat 2011
Photo: Mission
Salvador Chrispy (FTPI 2011
Edward O'Keefe in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mission
Edward O'Keefe (FTPI 2011)
M.A. d'Dogge in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mary Diamond's Camera
M.A. d'Dogge (Put-in-Bay 2011)

Connie Thatcher in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Silas Thatcher
Connie Thatcher Initiates the "Let's Try On
Mission's Hat" Happening in Columbus, 2009
Perhaps because the hat become so entangled with my persona and was often featured so poignantly in my allegedly humorous Journals, another running gag began with the hat, one that started entirely independent of me: other people trying on the hat so they could take photos of this.

The "Let's wear Mission's hat and take photos" gag was originally started by Connie Thatcher at the Columbus Santa Maria Pirate Weekend in May 2009. Connie has a unsinkable, playful sense of humor as well a large family, several of whom were at the event. Her husband Silas likes to take photos of their family at events, so he, Connie and two of their boys posed with my chapeau and posted their photos online by way of proof.

I am always looking for a running gag for the Journals, so I latched onto this like a drowning man grasping at an inflatable flotation ring (probably one with a duck's head.) This further propagated the gag amongst my reenactor friends and it continues to occur these many years later.

You can find examples of my fellow reenactors wearing the Patrick Hand Original™ in the Journals of Pirates of Paynetown 2010, Put-in-Bay 2011, Santa Maria 2012 Pirate's Weekend, Searle's Sack of St. Augustine event in March of 2010, but not Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion 2013. Well, sort of, but not really. In addition to Connie and Silas' family, the wearing of the hat has been a family affair in the US as well as in the UK. Below are a few of the many reenactors who've tried it on.

Don Maitz in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mission
Pirate Artist Don Maitz in the Patrick Hand Hat
Red Jessi in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Ivan Henry
Reenactor Red Jessi Tries the Hat
Ed Fox in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mission
UK Pirate Historian Ed Fox Dons the Hat

Brig and Keith with the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mission
Keith Adoring Twin Brig in the Patrick Hand Hat
Hat Message
Photo: Mission
The Message in the Hat
(And the string that tied it)
Speaking of reenactors using the Patrick Hand Hat, one of my fellow twins (I am the third twin) Brig has also used the hat as a way to pass messages to me at the Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion in 2012.

So, in addition to covering my head, shading my face and providing fodder for my goofy Journals, it can also be used as a sort of felt secret letter drop.

OK, it wasn't a very secret message at all, but I thought it was sort of neat, so I wanted to include that fact here. (When you write a web page about your hat, you do that sort of thing.) The message is still in there, as I love incorporating objects like that into my garb.

Now, lest you think this trend is restricted to me and my fellow re-enactors, there have been multiple examples of folks I encounter at events wanting to try it on. This is probably because in the sea of tricorn hats (cocked hats) it stands out - being so large and usual. Some people become so enamored of it after trying it on (or at least they do when they're drunk) that they've tried to buy it from me. You can see a few examples of tourists trying it on below.

Bridal Party Girl in Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mission
Bridal Party Girl (Columbus, May 2010
Wild and Crazy Guys
Photo: Mission
Wild & Crazy Guys (Columbus, Sept 2011)
Party Girl in Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mission's Camera
Party! (Put-in-Bay 2011)

It's a musician magnet as well. You will find photos of every member of the band the Bastard Bearded Irishmen donning it in the 2012 Put-in-Bay Pirate Fest Journal as well as the band Homeland trying it in the 2013 Put-in-Bay Pirate Fest Journal.

Wile E., flattened in his Bat Man Costume
A hat like this also makes for some interesting travel tales. For example, when I went to the 2010 Put-in-Bay Pirate Fest, I decided to bring my bike. The only problem was how to secure the hat for riding. (You can NOT ride a bike with a giant disc on your head and expect it to stay there.)

In typical engineer fashion, I devised an elaborate, if not ingenious, way of doing this involving string and small pieces of wood. It was so elaborate and not ingenious that I promised myself I would never do that again.

Air travel presents a different pickle. When Patrick brought the hat to me in 2007, he explained that he had worn it on the plane since he was worried about putting it into the luggage section. It might get destroyed in the cargo area. Thus began a multi-year concern on my part about putting the hat into my luggage. Instead, I wore it onto the plane and carefully stowed it in the overhead compartment after enough people had put their luggage up that I could safely make a hole to protect it. (Most people don't think twice about smashing any soft and malleable objects into the back of the overhead storage bin, so long as their suitcase fits. If I weren't watchful, it would be cardboard thin upon landing, looking like Wile E. Coyote after smashing into a cliff.)

Patrick Hand Hat in the Overhead Compartment
The Patrick Hand Hat Carefully Packed Into the Overhead Compartment in 2013
Wandering onto the plane in such a thing can also lead to interesting discussions with your fellow air travelers as I have learned at times. I was first asked about on the way home from Pirates in Paradise in 2007. It has come up several times during such travels, with perhaps the most enthusiastic commenter to date being met on the way to the Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion in 2012.

It was also the subject of great admiration by the airport security personnel in the Detroit Metro Airport when flying to Pirates in Paradise in 2009. Some of them asked me where they could buy one for themselves.

Speaking of security, the Patrick Hand Original™ almost kept me from being admitted into the UK. (OK, that is definitely overstating the thing, but the customs guy in the Manchester Airport did call it a "daft hat." You can read the full tale of that misadventure in the 2013 UK Journal.)

Those Dread Surgeon Mission
Kitbashing Pirate Pop Culture with My Outfit Created...
The Dread Surgeon Mission!
of you who regularly read my Pirate Surgeon's Journals will instantly recognize that I like to pepper the narrative with pop-culture references. I am forever making weird links between things that happen at pirate events and nearly (but not entirely) irrelevant phenomena in the media around us. The Patrick Hand Original™ Planter's Hat has not been spared this salting of popular images as you see below.

The hats being worn by Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy characters drawn by Antonio Prohias reminds me a great deal of the Patrick Hand hat, a reference I have used a couple of times. I slightly altered the image seen below left to suggest that the black spy is holding a bone saw and a fleam. (Come to think of it, these tools that might have actually worked well in the comic strip.) Below center we have a screen capture of Sylvester trying on a be-flowered hat that looks remarkably like a Patrick Hand hat, taken from the Warner Brother's cartoon A Bird in a Bonnet. The last image is of my life-size model of the Brain Gremlin wearing the hat. He was brought to the the Columbus Santa Maria Talk Like a Pirate Weekend in 2011 by Dan Needham. (Dan built the gremlin model by taking my resin Mohawk model and completely reworking and reposing him for me. Brain gremlin's head is so large, I plopped the Patrick Hand hat on him. I won't say it fit. Then again, I won't say it didn't.)

The Spy's Patrick Hand Hat
Trying on Hats
The Gremlin in the Patrick Hand Hat

The hat also made it's way into the environs of the classic 60s TV Show The Prisoner during my last visit to the UK. I had been wanting to make the trip Merlin the Donkey in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Mission
The Sheep Wouldn't Cooperate, so Gareth Tried to
Put the Patrick Hand Hat on Merlin, His Donkey
for several years - many of the popular Caribbean pirates were originally from the UK and I had internet friends involved in the hobby that I wanted to meet.

I finally decided to make the trip in 2013. I had a couple of goals for my two week visit: attend a UK pirate reenactment, meet my on-line friends Lee Morrisroe and Ed Fox, put the Patrick Hand hat on British reenactor Gareth Pugh's award-winning sheep and visit Portmeirion, the magical little village built by Cllough Williams-Ellis in Wales where they had filmed the original Prisoner show.

Since I was attending a pirate event, I had to bring the Patrick Hand Original™ Planter's Hat with me. Part of my plan in visiting the Portmeirion village was to procure the distinctive piped Prisoner jacket that Patrick McGoohan had worn throughout the series. (Portmeirion makes the only licensed version of the jacket.) Then I wanted to dress like prisoner number 6 and get photos for posterity or something.

My first trip on the grounds being dressed so conspicuously, I was just about as self-conscious as you could get. However the tourists (for there were loads of them touring the village) loved it and I quickly got over my trepidation. For the next outing, I donned the Patrick Hand hat, even though it had no business being a part of the costume. You see some of those images here.

The Patrick Hat on Mission the Prisoner 1 The Patrick Hat on Mission the Prisoner 2 The Patrick Hat on Mission the Prisoner 3

So Mission in an Inappropriate Hat
Yep, I'd probably choose that...
now we've covered the hat swap angle, the reenactors and tourists posing in the hat angle and the pop-culture angle.... but we haven't yet mentioned the Patrick Hand Original™ magic angle. (No, that doesn't mean I can wave a speculum mandani over the hat and pull a rabbit out of it. At least I don't think I can. Then again, I've never tried. Hm.)

What it can be used to cheer up unhappy little girls, magically heal people using powerful Patrick Hand hat rays. as well as magically prevent Mission for selecting other, far less appropriate, head wear. (Which, as the evidence at right proves, he is likely to do.)

Sometimes the hat even has it's own adventures, independent of me or anyone else. The Case of the Dripping Wax from the Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion 2011 springs to mind. (I learned a valuable fashion slob lesson while on that case.) Everyone was also treated to the The Patrick Hand Original™ Hat Journal, which lasted until I realized that that was really, really stupid. (2011 was a watershed year for the planter's hat.)

Of course, none of these adventures and happenings would be possible without Patrick giving me the hat. So I thought I'd end this page with a short homage to him and his hat.

Patrick in the Patrick Hand Hat
Photo: Ivan Henry
Patrick in His Hat (Searle's Sack of St. Augi, 2010)
Patrick Hand Lighting Mission's Breadstick
Photo: Mission's Camera
Patrick Lighting My Breadstick (Fort Taylor, Key West, 2011)
Patrick Hand, Buccaneer
Photo: Mission
Patrick, Buccaneer (2011)

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