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The Dallas Morning News just reported that the gray felt fedora Jack Ruby wore when he shot Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s murderer, soon will be up for sale in Dallas.

11:24 am on November 22nd 1963. It definitely was newsy Sunday in Dallas, as authorities were preparing to transfer 24-year-old Oswald by car from police headquarters to the nearby county jail two days after he had committed the most terrifying assassination in the history of the United States. Stepping out from an overwhelming crowd of reporters and photographers, Ruby fired a snub-nosed Colt Cobra .38 into Oswald’s abdomen on a nationally televised live broadcast.

He was wearing a grey felt fedora.

Ruby was then arrested. First, he said that he was acting on behave of President Kennedy. Then, he said it was a spontaneous act with no real reasoning. It was then proved that he was taking Preludin. Finally, his defense attorney, Melvin Belli, agreed to represent Ruby free of charge proving that he was legally insane and had a history of mental illness in his family. Ruby died on January 3, 1967, from a lung cancer.

“It’s a pretty stylish hat,” said Noah Fleisher, a spokesman for the Heritage Auction Galleries that will start taking advance bids for the hat in October and will put it up for auction in early November. “The guy had good taste,” said Fleisher. In 2008, the hat was auctioned for $61,000. According to liveauctioneers.com, the hat is a size 7.25 and includes “Jack Ruby” in gold lettering on the inside of the hat, as one can see in the picture. The price, $16.50, also stamped on the topper, is an unreal figure that just pretends to create the buzz with the pitch that is being faithful to the original price. Here’s what the Auction House says about the piece:

“Cavanagh Hats/New York,” and a two-lion emblem are found on the inside silk portion of the hat. “Jas K. Wilson/Dallas” is printed in gold script lettering on the left of the inside hat band. “JACK RUBY” is printed in gold lettering on the right side of the inside hat band. “Cavanagh Edge” is printed in gold lettering on the front of the inside hat band. Underneath the inside hat band, the style (“5B03 Dawn”) and price ($16.50) can be found. Includes a photocopy of the first three pages of “Accounting of Independent Executor” in the Probate Court No. 2 of Dallas County, Texas, identifying this hat as “worn by Jack L. Ruby at the moment he shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963.”

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Also in November, a front page of The Dallas Morning News autographed by President John F. Kennedy on the day he was assassinated by Oswald in 1963 will be put up for auction with the hat.

What is interesting about the whole story is that the news came out particularly today, two days after Ted Kennedy’s death. Commentators on The Dallas Morning News article imply that Ted’s momentum is being used to advertise the auction. “They should put the hat on Ted Kennedy and bury that era altogether,” says one of the readers. Let’s just stick to the hat. 

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Instructions to Wear a Hat

August 26, 2009

Baron California Hats could be the most important hat shop in America. Just think about it: a well-known, legendary and sophisticated hat shop in the land of clothing experimentation, Hollywood. This is Hollywood local hat store. So therefore, John Wayne, Crocodile Dundee, Michael and Janet Jackson, Johnny Depp, and so forth are regular clients of this shop. 

Also, they have a quite good, slightly tacky website, where you can find the story of the owner, Mr. Mark Maejía, the history of the shop, celebrities’ hat size and, most importantly, the instructions to wear a hat.

This is Hat-wearing for Dummies. Here are some os the tips:

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  1. Do not pick up your hat by “pinching” the crown, either at the top or front. Pinching will flex the felt, and eventually cause a hole or crack to develop in the material.
  2. Pick up the hat either by the front and back of the brim, or by placing your thumbs inside the leather sweatband at the sides with your fingers just touching the outside of the brim.
  3. Keep it from dirt and dust. That means to keep it covered in a loosely wrapped plastic bag and sealed with a “tie.” (“Hefty Bags” are great, but don’t buy the ones that come with a “fresh scent” insert.)
  4. Store them in a professional hat box. Do not put your stored hat under anything in the closet. Even with a sturdy hatbox, it’s a good practice to put the hats on top of the “pile”, or on the floor, with nothing on top of it. 
  5. There are two different types of moth balls used to combat moths. In one type, the main ingredient is naphthalene, and in the other it is paradichlorobenzene. Both chemicals kill moths and moth larvae with the fumes.
  6. When feeling the hat quite loose, place a “line” of cotton underneath the sweatband, making sure you place a consistent layer all around the hat.
  7. To clean it, don’t use water. Use a soft bristle brush, especially one that specifically is made for hats. 

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Maybe is just me. As a foreigner who’s still trying to delve into the American culture, it’s probably my fault—I just don’t get the jokes. But one after the other, I still ask myself, what’s funny about Jimmy Fallon?  I do get Seinfeld, Southpark and The Simpsons, but Jimmy Fallon is simply not viable to understand. Should I think that his humor is too clever for me?

Well, I don’t know. But, anyway, his yesterday’s act with Abigail Breslin was the most childish, senseless scene I’ve ever scene in American Television. I was embarrassed, really, and sort of felt pity for one of the most legendary toppers ever, to see them doing this pointless dance with a pinch-crowned, grosgrain-trimmed, snap-brimmed, Blues Brothers-like hat, just as Fallon wittily (?) pointed out.

Jimmy Fallon lacks of interviewing skills, humor and drollness. At least he’s got The Roots.