The ‘Hat-Tipper’ I spot most mornings fetching his newspaper and collecting the mail. Wearing this ol’ cotton bucket-hat that he tips as he nods to me in this old fashioned greeting that always makes me smile.
With this warm, confident smile and gentle demeanour and amongst the well-worn laugh lines suggests he may have been quite handsome in his day. But it’s his grey-blue eyes that speak volumes of a man who’d seen plenty.
What era was he born into? Guessing the ‘Forties’ perhaps? The time of WWII. Where a three bedroom house cost less than four thousand dollars. Microwaves, Velcro, mobile phones and the computer were invented in this era. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, James Stewart and Lauren Bacall were stars of the silver screen. Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Fantasia and Bambi were Cinematic Triumphs and it was the beginning of Rock ’n Roll. Where our small city would’ve been a proper final-frontier town and the changes the Hat-Tipper would’ve seen in his years.
When I’d spotted the Hat-tipper swinging his arms, walking sprightly, carrying a bright pink envelope to the local Post Office. Obviously a gentleman of the letter-writing-hat-tipping era. But why use such an attention grabbing bright pink envelope?
Was the Hat-Tipper writing to his daughter? A granddaughter perhaps?
Was he anonymously writing love poems to a married woman and using the pink envelopes to falsely mislead the husband into believing the letters were from another female?
Was it letters he’d written to his long-lost-lover regaling her on their past shared adventures, being read aloud by some duty-nurse while she lay on her death bed in another country?
With my interest enchanted I watched – not stalked – but I definitely took a bit more notice of the Hat-Tipper.
Realizing it’s a regular weekly occurrence, where I’d spot the Hat-Tipper, head up, shoulders back, wearing that playful grin with a glint to his eyes, proudly carrying that bright pink envelope to the post office. What far off exotic destination was that bright pink envelope headed for?
When I happened by the post office and there was the Hat-Tipper, tipping his hat to me and giving me an easy nod, like always, wearing that confident smile. I watched him post that bright pink envelope into the letter-postal slot, just missing out on the address written on the front of the envelope. Damn.
When he patted the letterbox, like it was an old friend and for the first time ever, he spoke to me and said, ‘This week’s my lucky week and I’m gonna win that Sunday Bingo…’ and winked at me, turning swiftly on his heel with newspaper in hand, with head held high, he headed home