Rest In Peace, Tilley

 Posted by at 12:59 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 272023

This week I had to say goodbye to a dear friend who has been a close part of my life for over 30 years. A friend I didn’t even believe I wanted at first.

It was sometime in the early 1990s when a friend of mine walked into my newspaper office in Lakeside, Arizona and I commented on the nice hat that he was wearing. He thanked me and told me that it was a Tilley hat made in Canada, and that they were guaranteed for life. I don’t remember the price he told me he paid for it, but back then I thought that was crazy for a hat, and I told him so. I mean, it wasn’t a Stetson, it was just a cotton duck hat. A Silly Tilley.

In those days I wrote a fun, goofy column called Meandering Around The Mountain in my weekly newspaper, in which I talked about what was going on in town, the people I had seen that week and such. It was probably the most popular feature in the paper and readers always told me it was like having a friendly visit with a neighbor across the back fence. In that week’s column I wrote something about the guy that bought the hat and paid a crazy amount of money for it. My memory’s not really clear about what happened after that. Either he, or somebody at the Tilley company sent me one of their hats and told me that after I wore it I was going to eat my words or something to that effect.

Well, I did eat those words. My Tilley hat became my faithful companion for years to come. Whether I was kayaking in the Florida Keys, target shooting in Arizona, flying kites on the beaches of Washington state, fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway, mowing the lawn, driving my tractor here in Alabama, and a thousand other adventures from coast to coast and border to border, my Tilley was there to protect my bald head from the sun and rain. I grew to love that darned thing.

Over the years, Tilley became faded and frayed, but it seemed like every time I put it on it was even more comfortable. Sure, it had a stain or two, but like my wrinkles, they were a testament to a life well lived. But all good things must come to an end, and a few days ago I asked Terry to throw the hat in the washing machine with some other things she was laundering, and it came out this way.

I guess Tilley finally had to give up the ghost after spending almost half my life with me. That’s more than any woman ever has so far, though Terry and I are working on it.

Back when I got it the company had some kind of a lifetime warranty. I don’t really know what that’s all about, but I do know that testimonials on the company’s website talk about how indestructible they are. I read something once about there being photos of a Tilley hat being eaten by an elephant and a week later coming out the other end of the giant critter, all in one piece. Now that’s a hat that’s made to last!

Part of me wants to bury the hat in a place of honor, part of me wants to have it bronzed like a pair of baby shoes, and my German shepherd keeps eyeing it like she wants it to serve as her security blanket. I told you these hats were versatile!

I’d tell you more about my love for my Tilley, but right now I’ve got to get online and see if they still make the same model and order another one.

It’s Thursday and time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of Terry’s cookbook, Miss Terry’s Kitchen, full of delightful and delicious recipes that are sure to make you a hit with your family and friends.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day Things end, people change, but life goes on.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Rest In Peace, Tilley”

  1. Tilley probably does still make the same model hat you have, along with dozens more.
    There are numerous Tilley hat stories, but save for an authentic Stetson, are most likely the most recognizable hat sold. I have heard lots of stories of folks walking down the street and having strangers offer them much more than retail for a Tilley hat.
    Hopefully you get years of wear from your replacement, and leave it to a worthy successor in your will.

  2. Dave once left his Tilley hat on a train. Fortunately, we found a store at our destination that carried the hats so he quickly replaced it.

    Please note, that the hat you have is a Tilley with an E. Tilly is a different brand.

  3. I love my Barmah (Australian company) for rain and shine. I hope it lasts as long as your Tilley!

  4. michael d diot
    Nick I saw I won last weeks drawing, What do I need to do.
    M. Diot

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