Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ebay, A Stetson Fedora, and a New Life

      One of the things I enjoy most about having an Ebay store is that I come in contact with some interesting people from all over the country, and all over the world.  I am often surprised to receive an unexpected note that a buyer went out of his/her way to send out of sheer kindness.  That is what happened today, with probably the most unusual story, which came about as a result of my listing this vintage Stetson hat...

      I've been working hard this month to get all of my backlog of Ebay items listed--you know, all of those odds and ends that have been languishing in boxes and bags for months on end.  Those things that you just don't want to deal with for one reason or another; maybe there is a box of old electronic gadgets (Why on earth did I ever buy those infernal things?), or several boxes of silver plate pieces (Oh, now I have to polish all of that!) , or just boxes of purely random items from various places that you have ignored for just too darned long.  That's where I found this lovely old Stetson fedora.  It came from a long-forgotten estate sale and, sadly, got pushed to the back of the pile of "To-Be-Listed" vintage items. 
       I love old hats like this.  They remind me of my Dad, who passed on several years ago.  He was a WWII Vet, a real Patriot, a Jitterbug-Big-Band Lover, and a life-long hard-working family man who loved to dress up in that dapper kind of way.  When I find hats like this that's the kind of guy I picture, who used to wear it in his day, who is now gone and this is all that remains--some forgotten things in a forgotten box in the back of a bedroom, just waiting to be sold to a new person with a new way of life on Ebay.  I remember thinking about that when I printed out the address label to ship this hat to a gentleman in Georgia.  I do that a lot; wonder about what kind of person wanted this, and why.   The last time I sold a hat like this it went to a shop in Hollywood where they specialize in men's vintage hats.  I wondered if this one was going to a young man who was into Jitterbug dancing.  I kind of hoped so.  That was the last I ever expected to think about it.
      Until tonight, when I opened this brief but poignant email...

      "Linda, Thank you for the Stetson Hat. It is exactly what I wanted. I am a criminal investigator in persons crimes.  The hat you sold has a purpose. It is tradition that when you get your first murder conviction you can wear the fedora. I expect to have my first in a few weeks. I plan to place the victims name inside the hat as a memorial.  This will be an item I keep forever. I appreciate the quick shipping and quality product."
      He later wrote to tell me that this was an eleven-year-old cold case that he had solved. He promised to send me any future press release about it.  I thanked him for the kind update, and congratulated him on a job well done. 
 This Fedora has a new and proud life ahead.  I think it's previous owner would be pleased.



  1. Wow, what an fascinating story! I love getting information from my buyers about why they purchased the item--but this story is way more interesting than anything I've gotten from my buyers!

    1. It was at the top of my "Most Interesting Stories", too!

  2. Great story, Linda! It is very rewarding when an eBay buyer lets you know a special story like this.

  3. Sweet! "Here's looking at you, kid".

  4. What a touching story. How great that buyers will sometimes take the time to give a little glimpse into their life stories!! Awesome.