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Awards will be given each year to designers or companies that have shown leadership and inventiveness in the headwear industry
Don Livingston's LONGHORN HATTERS 
Wins 2008 International Hatty Award!"

Don Livingston

This years’ winners were chosen by a panel of judges from a large group of nominees. Although creativity is an important ingredient in the Hatty Award mix, it takes more than just a pretty hat to make the grade. It takes a bit of bravado and a lot of dedication to be singled out among your peers.

There are teachers who follow their hat making passion and there are designers, hat retailers and hat makers who defy the odds of ambiguity to succeed.

We salute the Hatty Award winners for 2008 and hope that their passion runs as deep as our respect for them. Hat making has an illustrious past that often gets overshadowed by the modernity of our time. At Hat Life we want to bring hat making out of the closet and shine a light on the great talent that exists among us.

Go to the Hatty Awards

~A LITTLE POEM~

"Some people buy a house, some people buy a car,
Some men buy a wife, some women buy the stars,

Some people buy a dog, some people buy a cat,
But when all is said and done, all I buy is a hat."
~D. Livingston~

I have worn a hat for most of my life. When I was born, instead of crying, I yelled "Stetson" at the top of my lungs- that's why my Grandfather gave me one when I was six years old, because he was the only one who understood me when I came into this world. I think I slept with that Stetson every night for years. My love for Cowboy Hats has lasted all of my life. My childhood heroes wore them: Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hop-a-long Cassidy, Tex Ritter, Hoot Gibson, Tom Mix, Ken Maynard, Tim Mc Coy, "Wild Bill" Elliott, Lash La Rue, The Son's of the Pioneers, "Wild Bill" Hickock, John Wayne("The Duke"), not to forget Clint Eastwood as "Rowdy Yates" in Rawhide, or his Spaghetti Westerns.

Now, almost all of the Cowboy stars I worshipped as a child have passed on only to be seen occasionally in the netherworld of late night television. The lasting impression they made on me prompted custom designs I use that have slowly become some of the most authentic looking cowboy hats this side of the Pecos.

The Cowboy hat is a way of life, and has been part of our heritage forever. There is a certain feeling one gets when wearing one. The only word that comes to my mind is Independence. It is a symbol of "The West".

The hats I design are statements of a better time to come, independence about the person who wears it, and a deep burning desire to be a Cowboy for a little while. They aren't for everybody, but anyone who wears a Longhorn Hatter Hat will feel good about themselves. There are two types of people who buy my hats - Cowboys, and those who wish they were.

I started styling hats for friends when I was seven years old, but did not start doing it commercially until moving to California in the 1970's as an entertainer. It was the perfect venue for exposing the hats. Wear two or three of them on stage every night, and eventually someone would ask "Where did you get the funky looking hat?", and presto, LONGHORN HATTERS® was born.

One such person that saw my hats was a Producer by the name of Art Annicherico from Los Angeles. I did some hats for him, and he gave me names of stars that wore hats. Two such stars were Clint Eastwood, and Charles Bronson. I did hats for them, as well as other personalities, and the only person that responded to thank me was Clint Eastwood. The letter will always be special to me, and is featured in the "Special Thanks" department of the site.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge and out to the ocean since then, and a lot of hats have been dropped on the trails left behind me, but the fact is I just get a kick out of seeing someone that is wearing one of the hats , or merchandise I create, and it makes everything a little better. Like my slogan says- "My hats make your HEAD feel good".

Everything on the site is geared to cowboys and the Southwest, and all custom made. Hatbands made out of everything from Rattlesnake, Whip Snake, Python, to Horsetail. Belt Buckles, Key Chains, Cowboy Nic-Nacs, as well as stories, reviews, Western Recipes, and on the road show itinerary.... anything might fit in "The Country Corner Section".

Your comments are welcomed.

Enjoy the site.

Don Livingston-Trail Boss

 


 
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