Friday, October 13, 2023

Hat Retirement

There comes a time in every hat's life to be hung up. I've had many good hats over the years, but my Carmelite hat has probably brought me the most joy. Thanks partner for all the good memories. 

Atwood, Hereford, cattleman crease, low crown, 4" brim, 5x, Palm leaf hat. 

We first found each other in the spring of 2020. I was coming off a revitalizing Ignatian eight-day retreat and I realized I needed a new hat for the new man. For needs like this, I turn to my grandma in Heaven and ask for her prayers. Suddenly, I remembered that the truck stop in Moorcroft carried the kind of straw hats I like. I passed by this one at first. But after not finding any others that fit, I tried it on. It fit nice, but kicker was the trucker in the candy bar isle that gave me a nod of the head and a big thumbs up. Since then, we were inseparable. 

We tackled a lot of projects around the ranch together.

Got it broke in with some cow manure. 

Drug calves together at brandings.

Wrestled many calves. 

Ran around with my rodeo cronies. 

Bronc busted together. 

Mountain surfed with one another. 

Played golf with good friends. 

Did a little blacksmithing. 

Bought and branded my first cows together.

Celebrated Mass.

Visited some good ole friends. 

And some country music stars. 

Killed our first cow together. 

And many others after that. 

Hauled plenty of hay with each other. 

Checked fence with one another. 

Started colts together. 

Helped clear the highway of turkeys. 

Visited our favorite Lady in France. 

And the Mediterranean in Spain. 

Farmed a bit with one another. 

And revisited some old childhood stomping grounds together. 

But now it's time to hang it up. 

Cowboy hats don't last for ever, but the memories made in them do. For two years I wore this hat. It has been a good friend and we have covered many miles together. I wouldn't be the man or the priest I am today without this hat. It has taught me to always to stay in the saddle of sonship. In this childlike relationship with the Father, nothing can get us down. Hats come and go, but being a beloved son of God lasts forever. Thank you Grandma for my hat. But more importantly, thank you Lord for the lessons learned in it. 


  1. Fr. Bryce, one of my favorite posts from you. God bless…Dave in Colorado

    1. Thanks man. One of my favorite stories to write. God bless you too.

  2. Leviticus 7:26-27...
    If you harm a cow in this life, for every hair on the cow's body you will suffer an incarnation of HELL.


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