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Pawn stars - john wayne hat

Discussion in 'Hats' started by hatflick1, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. hatflick1

    hatflick1 Practically Family

    I don't know if you Loungers watch this cable show, but from time to time a customer comes in to sell a hat. On an episode last night,
    a young guy strolls in with a cowboy hat he states the seller in Arizona claimed was worn by Wayne in Rio Lobo or Rio Bravo.
    Hey, I'm a Fedora Lounge member. I spotted this "authentic" number as a Drill Instructor's hat, even looked stiff like wool, was the
    color of old tea and had vent holes on each side with an additional third opening in the front on the crown to accommodate a US badgeor other military insignia. Yes, somehow it had been re-blocked to look like a Western hat. But who's kidding who? The pawn shopper owners had a former Hollywood prop man drop by to authenticate. No dice. It was never worn by the Duke.
    Not a pretty story, nut one that had to be told.
  2. jlee562

    jlee562 Call Me a Cab

    I'm pretty sure the real deal hat was sold in the Wayne auction recently...
  3. Joe Rotax

    Joe Rotax Familiar Face

    That show ran all day over the Christmas holidays and I did happen to see the one you're talking about - I figured the hat had to be fake just based on the really small size - very unlikely it would have fitted Wayne.

    Never seen the show before - some of it was quite interesting.
  4. Corky

    Corky A-List Customer

    You're correct about The Duke's hat size, but next time you visit Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, check out the size of the footprints he left in cement.

    For a big guy, he had really small feet!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  5. I've wanted to get my hands on John Wayne's Pontiac Wagon for a few years, now. It had a custom built raised roof over the front seat to accommodate, you guessed it, his western hats.
  6. Cicero

    Cicero A-List Customer

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  7. DougC

    DougC Practically Family

    Three things--first, saw the episode and thought it was interesting how the expets come to their conclusions. Who would have thought size would determine whose hat it was! Second, I think the size of the Duke's feet gave him a very distinct way of walking. Finally, my wife has a great picture of her sister and herself taken with John Wayne at the Grand Canyon when she was around 8 years old--in her words, "He was huge!"
  8. The Duke was big

    Tall, broad, huge hands ... but small feet. He favored Lucchese custom boots and they were about a 10.5, which is tiny for his size.

    He wore a normal sized hat ... about a 7 3/8 ... and the hat that was shown on Pawn Stars was a pathetic example.
    Yes, it was far too small
    Wrong design
    Wrong material

    It was hard to tell who was faking whom on that episode ... whether the 'collector' had been swindled or if he was trying to put one over on the show, but it was a pathetic fake.

  9. bil_maxx

    bil_maxx One of the Regulars

    Yes and the ridiculous little scrawled "Duke" note in the hat band. Even my kids laughed at that. You could see "The Old Man" from the store freeze up right away when the seller mentioned John Wayne. Good for a laugh though.

    The show itself is very educational though and plenty of really interesting vintage items come into the store with experts giving a lot of great information. It's a family favourite of ours for sure.
  10. Cicero

    Cicero A-List Customer

  11. I forgot about the Duke sign ... now I really do wonder, who was trying to rip off whom?
  12. I enjoy watching Pawn Stars, because I enjoy seeing the unique items that are brought onto the show. But I don’t think the show accurately depicts the real world of pawn shops...at least not any pawn shops that I've had contact with.

    In my area, many pawn shops are one third of a terrible trifecta. Drug dealers sell drugs to drug users, who steal property from innocent citizens, and then sell the stolen property to pawn shops for money to pay their drug dealers. I was part of a police sting of a local pawn shop last year. I'll spare you the details, but we executed a search warrant on the shop we found that almost 90% of the inventory was stolen. Much of it was in unopened, original boxes from where it had been stolen from our large local retail stores. I've often wondred...if I could eliminate this jurisdiction's drug dealers, drug users or pawn shops...which would I choose. I'm still not sure.

    I know there must be plenty of honest pawn brokers in the world, but any system that encourages total strangers to walk into a storefront and sell goods for cash...with little or no proof of ownership of those goods…is bound to be ripe for mischief. I would think that a guy trying to dupe someone into buying "John Waynes's Hat" would be not unusual in such an enviornment.

  13. I would think that a guy trying to dupe someone into buying "John Waynes's Hat" would be not unusual in such an enviornment.



    I agree, but I think, if I remember the episode correctly, it appeared that it was the seller who had been rooked in this case.
    I seem to remember thinking, when I first saw the show some time ago, that this was a person who really believed he had bought John Wayne's hat.

    Years ago we had a young man of limited mental resources who started doing living history with a group of us at a National Park site. We always gave him stuff to do and looked out for him and he did OK with supervision.
    One day he showed up with one of those pot metal percussion revolver "replicas" that he'd gotten soaked for ... we easily could have found him a good used working reproduction for the price he paid.
    It was only later, after visiting with him mom, that I understood, the family would not have wanted him to own a working revolver.
    Anyway, he thought he'd gotten a great deal and I remember thinking about him when I saw this young man with the Duke hat. I think he really was convinced John Wayne had screen worn that hat.
    Sad, but there you go.

  14. bowlerman

    bowlerman I'll Lock Up

    I also enjoy the show from time to time, and agree with AF. The behind-the-scenes pawn shop operation is unfortunately not all that uncommon. The one on the TV show is an anomaly, methinks primarily because it's in Vegas-- it appears to have high end, high profile goods. Maybe there's another wing of the store that is more usual. Many people out there are likely just trying to make a buck, or get a television appearance! I particularly enjoyed the Houdini episode. :)
  15. Cicero

    Cicero A-List Customer

    It's just television.
    C'mon guys, how many people wander into a pawn shop with high end items?

  16. Sam, we have to take into account that these shows are fictionalized. It could well be that the whole scene was invented and 'scripted out' in advance, and that the 'collector' was a friend or relative of the pawn shop guys. Believe me, it happens. Makes for good TV.
  17. Cicero

    Cicero A-List Customer

    Amen to that!
  18. bowlerman

    bowlerman I'll Lock Up

    ...in Vegas, in front of a TV crew? lol they're probably lined up halfway down the strip!
  19. Cicero

    Cicero A-List Customer

  20. bil_maxx

    bil_maxx One of the Regulars

    Big surprise there ;) I like the show a lot because of the historical items they bring in, but the interactions are clearly staged. I don't care how smart the Harrisons are, there is no way they have the extensive knowledge to speak about the topics they do. They usually will set up the item with a whole bunch of information to us the audience or the "seller" even before they call in an "expert". If you take the show as entertainment with something interesting for you to learn and nothing more though it is fine.

    Your link was fantastic.

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