When I started earning my own money, I loved buying presents for my parents. One year before Christmas I found a wonderful leather hat for my father. He was of an age where he never went out without a homburg hat. The hat was the right size and a designer markdown at ten dollars. He loved it and wore it often, except in the heat of summer.
He had attended the University of Pittsburgh and belonged to the University Club. They had wonderful food and service and we ate there often. One evening he stopped by for a drink. Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly, was staying at the club because she was doing a poetry reading somewhere in town.
As he went to check his hat and coat, the princess walked by and said to my father, “Sir, I like your hat.”
He didn’t tell me what he said, I assume he thanked her for the compliment, but I know he was floating on air. He called me as soon as he got home and I’m sure he called all of his friends. Before that day, he had worn the hat frequently, now it was on his head the minute he left the house.
My mother was okay with the hat, but she began to grow tired of it. She told me, “Thanks to Princess Grace, he’ll never get rid of the x%X% thing.” I was glad my gift had brought him so much pleasure.
Susan Williamson is a lifelong horse person, former extension agent, newspaper editor and food coop manager. She is the author of two novels: Turkmen Captives and Dead on the Trail. She has written two e-books: How to Buy Your First Horse and How to Get By as Time Goes By.