Boot Hill Museum Inc.

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Just Another Day

They were fist fighting over who knows what? We put about a dollars worth of nickel sized bumps on their heads and hauled them off to the Calaboose. That’s another word for jail. Just another day in the life of a lawman. The adventure left us famished. Upon entering the local eatery, we each removed our hats, and were seated. A kindly older gentleman approached us, and remarked as to how impressed he was that we had removed our hats as we entered the establishment. He went on to mention, (I’ll now translate in a more acceptable context), that proper etiquette has become a lost art.

With that thought in mind, let’s take a refresher "gander" at hat etiquette. Not so fast! For a change, I decided to be sure I knew what I was talking about, before I started talking. The more I studied up on hat etiquette, the more confused I got. If you can believe that! Some say this…and some say that. The “jist” of the matter is this. When deciding whether or not to remove your hat, one needs only to consider the reasoning behind the “rules”. Normally, removing your hat is a sign of respect, demonstrating humility and good manners.

The Following are a few tried and true rules:

  •  Remove your hat when you are introduced to a woman.
  • Remove your hat with your left hand so that you may shake her hand with your right.
  • Lift your hat to a lady when she greets you in public.
  • Promptly remove your hat upon entering a, restaurant, someone’s home or a theater.
  • Never wear your hat during a meal.
  • Remove your hat during the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and place it over your heart. 
  • Remove your hat In Church, during a Prayer, an indoor Wedding, a Funeral (indoors) or at the "passing" of a casket in a funeral procession.

There is something noble about the Cowboy greeting, removing or tipping his hat, or touching one’s hand to the brim. Cowboy hat etiquette depends upon the situation, but it does show good breeding and respect. All part of the “Cowboy Way”.

Posted on: 02/06/14 at 04:18 PM

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