Nothing covers the ear like John Deere (with flaps) | AspenTimes.com
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Nothing covers the ear like John Deere (with flaps)

My new John Deere baseball-style hat with the big ear flaps is the ultimate outdoor gear, even though it makes me look like Elmer Fudd.It’s a big green hat with the distinctive logo of the tractor and lawn equipment manufacturer – a white stag leaping through the air. When the flaps are down, they hang way past my ears and almost touch my shoulders. The coverage is exaggerated because the hat’s a size too big for my noggin.

I received this spectacular cap as a Christmas present. My brother-in-law Dave swears we were talking around the campfire during an October desert trip about how cool it would be to have a John Deere hat, preferably one stained with grease and such. I remember nothing of this conversation; I think beer was involved.I initially recoiled when I opened a gift-wrapped box and pulled out the hat. It’s the color of a finely-manicured suburban lawn soon after a treatment with large amounts of fertilizer.

I threw it in the closet along with 14 other baseball caps that rarely see the light of day. But when heading off to Spring Gulch to cross-country ski on a recent snowy Sunday, I figured what the hell, I’d give it a try.I fell instantly in love. The snow blew. I didn’t care. The flaps kept me warm. Then the clouds parted and the sun emerged. Up went the flaps – the ultimate in functionality.We didn’t encounter many people that day, but I did notice a few glances at my big green hat. I couldn’t tell if they were thinking “Cool hat” or “What a geek.”

Who cares anyway? Just to be strange I wore it to Aspen one day, thinking I’d make a fashion statement among the beautiful people. My timing was off, though. I wore it during the X Games so I just looked like another Midwestern motorhead here to watch the snowmobiles and motocross bikes. Maybe it’ll make a bigger splash during the Food and Wine Classic.You’d think the hat would be especially popular these days, with patriotism so strong. What could be more American than John Deere? (“Nothing runs like a Deere,” says the company motto.)But wait a minute! On the inside tag is a sign of the times – “Made In China.”Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com.


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