Michael Harris: The Man, The Myth, The Taxidermy
7 August 2009
Oh, making hats is so fulfilling. But you know what’s even more fun than that: finding someone that has the same exact sense of humor as I do. This man is Michael Harris, the previous owner of Paul’s Hat Works, and our wonderful teacher in the world of making hats.
Once upon a time, a million years ago, when we were cleaning the hat shop, three ladies found a “preserved- in- Verithane” piranha. [Picture of said atrocity is included at the end of this post.] The three ladies squealed with disgust, and then Wendy walked in and squealed for a completely different reason. She had never in her life experienced mutual feelings of horror and beauty. It was so ugly that it warmed her heart and made her feel a deeper understanding for the man they knew only through hats, Mr. Michael Harris himself.
Once upon a time, a million years before that day, four ladies walked into a hat shop to see a stuffed penguin wearing a hat. Oh, the joy! This penguin coupled with the piranha that followed are two of the three pieces to the puzzle that link Wendy and Michael’s sense of humor.
The last, and most disturbing piece happened recently. Michael told us a beautiful story about a man having a pristine white panama straw hat made for the day he would be buried in the ground. Talk about planning ahead. Following the touching story of the creation of a perfect hat, Michael casually mentions that at the end of his journey here on earth, he will have his head taxidermied. Three out of four ladies squeal with disgust, and can you guess which one squeals with delight? Wendy quickly responds with, “Oh, that’s a great idea! Then we can mount your head in the shop, and try all of our new hat designs out on you first.”