Hat | Rock Island, WA | 2017

Consider the hat. It protects the head, warms the scalp and, if rakishly applied, flatters the wearer. Underneath and inside, a brain percolates: judgments (burger or fish-n-chips?), concerns (will the waitress notice me?), memories (dog bounding at sunset on stormy beach). Now consider the hat’s loyal supporter — the hat rack — and one particular rack in a bustling restaurant at a busy truck stop. How many caps, beanies, fedoras, bonnets, hard hats and dusty Stetsons from around the West have hung out on that row of knobs? This rack is a temporary rest spot for one of truckers’ and ranchers’ most prized possessions — a topper that’s acquired the personality of the soul who loves it.