Hello, my name is Al.

I use this picture as an icon in a couple of places, and now I’m getting rather attached to it. It might be fun to dress up the ol’finger and film a few clips of it and see how it looks.

But there’s an interesting (well, okay, at least to me) story here. The photo was taken at the assisted living facility where my grandmother now resides. An entire houseful and lifetime of stuff was sorted, sold, given away, etc.and my grandmother is down to one room’s worth of her possessions. How this little metal hat survived the great cull I have no idea, but I posed the question to my dad where the heck this hat comes from, and it’s much older than I thought!

Dad asked Grandmother about the hat (which used to always sit next to a tiny figure that was a cigarette-smoking dog–I thought the hat belonged to the dog). However, her memory of times and places is now very strange, and she insisted that it had something to do with Huey Long, who was  the Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a U.S. senator from 1932 to 1935. We live in and are from Georgia, and I’m not even sure if Grandmother has even been to Louisiana, so this story didn’t quite check out.

Dad happened to run into someone over the weekend who seems to have had an iPhone, and the story about the hat came up. Long story short, young tech guy with iPhone managed to Google the little hat and discovered that it is most likely a collectible from the 1928 election in which Herbert Hoover was running against Alfred Smith. Smith’s trademark was apparently brown bowler, or “derby”  hat,and various campaign favors were given out in the shape of hats.

So if the hat ever falls into my possession, we’ll call the resulting character Al. It’s great to finally know where it came from!


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