JUST FOR FUN: The story of Eleven Years, Two Countries, One Hat!

In 2006, an American archaeologist working in Jamaica brought her parents along for a visit. One highlight was a trip to the Trelawny Yam Festival in Albert Town. Dr Jillian Galle and her parents Pete and Janet remember the winding drive trip up the mountain, the hustle and bustle and constant music and the many kinds of yam spread out on offer. As a souvenir, Pete bought himself a Trelawny Yam Festival cap, which became a prized possession, hanging with other caps at his farmhouse in the state of Maine, USA.

Fast forward eleven years. In June 2017, Pete wore his Yam Festival cap when he and wife Janet took a bird-watching boat trip run by a company called Hardy Boats, operating from the town of Newcastle on one of the folds of Maine’s long, fractured and indented coastline. The day was cool and windy but Pete made sure that his Yam Festival hat remained securely on his head while on the boat. However, on reaching home, Pete discovered that his treasured Jamaican cap was missing. Hardy Boat’s co-owner, Stacie Crocetti, remembers getting a call from Janet Galle, a few days after the Galle’s boat trip. Janet’s description of the grey and yellow hat sounded familiar. Stacie checked the boat and then the parking lot, where someone had picked up the cap and placed it on a fence post. She posted the cap to the Galles, much to Pete’s delight.

It turns out that Cocettii and her husband, Captain Al, have some experience in recovering treasured caps and hats – on occasion they’ve blown overboard as the boats make the blustery, nearly hour-long trip across to the islands. Recently Al Cocetti turned around for a man’s treasured panama hat. Indeed the Crocettis’ recall that one of their hat salvation stories once made it into the Boston Globe newspaper.

In addition to bird-watching excursions, the company runs trips to the island of Monhegan which has a small sister island, Manana, best known as being inhabited by goats – Maine’s very own Goat Island equivalent. In fact, one of Hardy Boats souvenirs is a goat cap!
Talk about, ‘Pop story gi mi!’ (a Jamaican traditional saying meaning: Tell Me a Story!)




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