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September 18, 2009

A Place To Hang His Hat

There is at least one business thriving in this economy: a Chicago hat shop. Graham Thompson has had a thing for hats ever since he watched Robert Mitchum sport a jaunty gray hat in the 1940s movie Out of the Past. As a teenager, Graham saved up all his money to buy a custom hat from a legendary Chicago hatmaker. He was hooked. When Graham returned from college, the hatmaker was preparing to retire, and Graham hatched a plan to buy the equipment and start his own shop. The problem: Graham had never made a hat in his life. He spent years in debt, but Graham finally made his store a success. He talks with Dick about hats, the golden age of movies, and his business strategy.


Boom Boom and Hoogie Boogie by John Lee Hooker


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