A Dead Woman’s Hat

Today I decided to get busy and put a few items on my daily agenda:

  1. Go to Key West to an estate sale
  2. Go to Home Depot to buy paint and nails
  3. Go to Key West Library to write
  4. Go to Big Pine and move stuff from the patio into storage for my friend before hurricane Fred hits (August 14, 2021)
  5. Go to No Name Pub for a No Name Amber beer and write some more or read something

For the estate sale, I arrived at about 9:30AM which is 30 minutes after the estate sale started. It has been a long time since I have been at one of these. The last one was in Wilmington, NC where I got an empire couch stuffed with real horse hair and my dad got a German coo-coo clock. Time passes and memories fade, I look at this event with fresh eyes as if I have never done this before. The house is located in a residential neighborhood on Von Phister Street.

I walk into a beautifully architected but tremendously run-down house, cluttered with all sorts of everyday items, perfectly displayed and priced to sale. I wonder who has lived here and what is their story? As any modern wanderer would do, I check in with Zillow and the app tells me: an “Amazing opportunity in Key West! This mid-century home is 9510 sq feet lot in a prime Mid-Town West location.” The house is priced at 1.7 million US dollars and Zillow pictures look way better than what I am seeing here today. But I agree that for someone in-the-money and with a vision, this would be a spectacular property complemented with a lanai and a tropical pool.

As I step around the clutter avoiding eager shoppers jockeying for interesting finds, I realize that I am walking into some dead person’s life. I am speculating that a couple lived here at this address and for a very long time. I am further assuming that as they gotten older, they no longer paid as much attention to the structure (it definitely needs a face lift), but they continued to accumulate stuff, so much stuff – stuff everywhere!

Based on the items that the shoppers are sifting through, I ascertain that it was an elderly couple that lived here for a while and the husband was a military man – I support this guess because I am looking at a white US Navy hat.  I also guess that the husband “went” first. The Navy hat is carefully protected in a glass case giving it an air of respect but there are no other manly items around the house. Conversely, female items are spilling all over … stuff … stuff – stuff everywhere!

I step into a walk-in closet full of dresses, sweaters and hats, two eager women are trying things on. What a strange feeling to be in a dead woman’s closet and to observe others trying on her clothes! I look upon a shelf and grab a couple black hats. I try them on and look in a mirror, they are nice and only $3 each. So here I am taking someone’s memory with me, a piece of someone’s life, a Dead Woman’s Hats.

Now we all can wonder and speculate who were these people?

Who was the woman that wore these black hats?

Did she go wearing these hats to her favorite restaurant for a Saturday
evening Happy Hour or dinner?

Maybe she wore them to church on Sunday?

                                Think about it!

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