Yesterday we traveled to Wickenburg to meet Paul and Sue for lunch. They moved here to Arizona about 2-3 years ago from where we lived in Mt. Gilead and we’ve got together a few times over the last few months for sightseeing, fun, and food.
The four of us had dinner a few months back at Nichols West in Congress and enjoyed it so much, so we decided that we would walk around historic Wickenburg a bit and then head up to Congress for lunch. The pictures below show a couple of shops we went into that particularly interested me.
We had stopped in to Ben’s Saddlery when we were here back in April and I wanted to go again. Not that I’m a cowboy in need of a lasso rope, a belt, pair of chaps, or a saddle, but just because I was fascinated at the selection of western leather goods and to know (because I could see the shop in the back) that they were made or repaired to look and feel like new right there on the spot. And that smell of leather in the shop was great!
Then we went around the corner to see what was there … and just off the beaten path the sign for Double H Custom Hat Co. caught my eye so …. down the block we went.
When we got inside, quite a site! We met “Jimmy The Hat Man” and talked a bit with him while he worked on a hat for a new customer.
Jimmy apprenticed under a hat maker years ago and for the last 25 years or so he’s been making custom hats in his own shop, first in Darby, Montana and for the past four years or so he comes down to his new shop in Wickenburg to make and sell his fine wool hats from here.
I asked him about how he sells, figuring he could only sell a custom hat to a customer in person (to get it sized right), but he showed us and explained to us his method for getting a perfect fit even for customers who order from afar. He also attends western shows where he sells from his booth and, most recently he set up his display at a high-end western dude ranch of sorts where folks pay BIG money to attend. I imagine after a few drinks, those that have the money might start spillin’ it and Jimmy can help them out.
ALL of Jimmy’s hats are beautiful and when you realize how much artful labor is involved, only then can you appreciate the price you will pay. Jimmy’s hats start at about $600 and go up from there. The one centered in the picture above (black felt with turquoise hat band) Jimmy tells us will sell at $2500.
Kathy and I have looked over his website and decided which ones we’d like to have. Now we have to start saving …
Hey, check out Jimmy’s website here and tell us in the comments box below which style YOU like best. I’m sure Jimmy would be pleased to see the results!
But alas, now for the “Rest of The Story” as Paul Harvey used to say … we finished up in Wickenburg and then headed up the road to Congress to Nichols West for lunch.
Not much to say, but I wanted to share these pix of the food because not only is it all delicious, but the presentation is beautiful too!
All in all, we had a wonderful day … the weather was warm and sunny, being with friends was fun and we all enjoyed a great meal.
Now for the two hour drive back home. As you can see from the map at the top of this post, there’s no direct shot from Camp Verde to Congress. The mountains around here are beautiful, but they often make trips much longer than they might seem they should be. Nonetheless, we made it home just as night fell.