Welcome To RolexMagazine.com...Home Of Jake's Rolex World Magazine..Optimized for iPad and iPhone: The Hans Wilsdorf Story (Founder Of Rolex) rolex song meaning

The photo below, from the Rolex archives in Geneva,  Switzerland shows Hans Wilsdorf in 1942. Now let's get back to the Hans Wilsdorf watches. Tommy Taylor mentioned he has counted 9 of these watches in the last 20 years, and he has owned three of them. These watches have Hans Wilsdorf signed movements that were manufactured by the Beguelin/Damas company, and they have 10.5 ligne movements in a basic Rolex Speedking size Oyster case with no reference numbers. John Brozek took the photo above and the one below of his Hans Wilsdorf, Geneva watch that have a 8.75 ligne in an Egyptian Oyster Case. The dial is also original. Panerai The Royal Italian Navy 1937-1955 Rolex as a company, has changed significantly over the last century. For instance, in 1936, an Italian Navy contractor, named Panerai, came to Rolex and asked them to manufacture special diving watches for them, which Rolex agreed to do. The thing that makes this interesting, is that if anybody approached Rolex today with the same request, they would be kindly shown the door. So why, at age 55, in 1936, did Hans Wilsdorf agree to custom make watches for Panerai? It is a good question, and nobody knows for certain, but a few ideas came to mind. First, it could have been because he wanted the business, to help offset costs or keep his watchmakers busy, but it may also be that he was fascinated with the value proposition of making the first real tool watch dedicated to the specialty field of diving. The Panerai watch pictured below is the first model Rolex made for Panerai. Notice it does not have any branding on the "California" art-deco dial, and you can't tell from the photo, but the watch was a whopping 47mm. 47mm was enormous at the time, since the average male Rolex was around 32mm. In the next photo we see the inside of a Rolex made Panerai "Small Egiziano" made in the mid 1950s for the Egyptian Police. Notice the manual wind Rolex pocket-watch movement in the case. This was the last model Panerai Rolex ever made and today these Rolex made Panerai watches are worth approximately $150,000. Another fascinating consideration is whether or not Hans Wilsdorf realized at the time that he was beginning another wrist-watch revolution by making the Panerai Diving watch. Approximately 17 years after he made the first Panerai, Rolex introduced their first Rolex diving tool watch named the Submariner, which has gone on to become the most iconic and popular tool watch in history. You can learn, much, much, much more on the fascinating subject of the Rolex Panerai watches by reading " Panerai & The Italian Royal Navy. " Swiss General Guisan Onward & Upward Rolex suffered through World War II and Hans Wilsdorf must have been extremely frustrated because the war seriously impeded his progress because it was difficult to ship product and resources in and out of neutral Switzerland. Keep in mind, that prior to World War II breaking out, Rolex was on-fire with growing their market-share since they had a patent on both the waterproof Oyster case as well as the automatic "Perpetual" movement. General Henri Guisan is pictured below in next 3 photographs taken in 1942 at his headquarters in Switzerland. This first image shows Guisan with a European map on the wall behind him which is focused on Switzerland. The Swiss were very uncomfortable with Adolph Hitler and the Nazi's in general. During World War II, the Nazi's dominated and occupied most of Europe, but never entered Switzerland. It has been argued, the Nazi's never invaded Switzerland because of the surrounding mountain terrain which would have made it difficult, but other theories suggest that Hitler was pre-occupied with other challenges. Swiss Commander & Chief, General Henri Guisan Getting In His 1939 Buick Special Convertible Either way, the Swiss were really freaked-out by Hitler and they chose their top military leader, General Henri Guisan to become their Commander and Chief during World War II. Guisan devised a philosophy, that argued the Nazi's "will NEVER take Switzerland!!!" and that every Swiss citizen should fight to the death before being taken alive. After General Eisenhower came over and freed Europe from Nazi tyranny, Rolex started moving forward and regaining their amazing pre-war momentum. In 1946, Rolex manufactured their 50,000th Officially Certified Swiss Chronometer and Hans Wilsdorf decided he wanted to give it to somebody special. Hans Wilsdorf offered this milestone Rolex to General Guisan and Guisan accepted. This is interesting from a strategic marketing perspective, particularly, when you think about the mindset of Rolex in 1946, and contrast that with today's Rolex mindset. You see, in 1946, Hans Wilsdorf and company, had something to prove to themselves–and the world. By accepting the 50,000th Officially Certified Rolex Chronometer, Rolex began an strong, ambitious, perpetual, uphill climb that would set a ferocious pace that would continue to place Rolex watches on the wrist of many high and low-profile leaders and achievers. It took Hans Wilsdorf approximately 40 years to make 50,000 Officially Certified Rolex Swiss Chronometers and profoundly, only an additional year to reach their 100,000th Chronometer!!!! Hans Wilsdorf ambitiously decided that for the 100,000 th Rolex Chronometer, he wanted to aim even higher, so he turned to his friend, General Guisan and asked him to offer it his friend, Sir Winston Churchill. Guisan agreed, and approached Sir Winston Churchill who accepted . Winston Churchill is picture below wearing his pink gold Rolex Datejust The following letter is from the Eisenhower Presidential Library archive and shows how Wilsdorf adroitly leveraged and networked his way up the ladder. Less than a year later, Rolex had already produced their 150,000th Chronometer and Wilsdorf again decided to aim even higher, and offer it to the man who was the architect of the D-Day landing of the American's and Allied Forces, which freed Europe–5 Star General, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower accepted, the yellow-gold Datejust, which at the time was Rolex's most state-of-the-art watch. It is unlikely that Wilsdorf or Rolex realized at the time, that Eisenhower would go on to become the next President Of The United States. The fact that Eisenhower became the President, created a superb showcase marketing opportunity for Rolex which no amount of money could ever buy. Eisenhower is pictured below with Churchill, ironically next to U.S. General Gunther (far right) who became the recipient of the 200,000th Rolex Chronometer which was also a yellow-gold Datejust. In October 1947, at Edwards Air Force Test Center, Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager forever changed history, when he was the first pilot to fly faster than the Speed of Sound. And, yes, you guessed it! Chuck Yeager was wearing his Rolex Oyster Perpetual wrist-watch, that he purchased himself. So what does this mean? What kind of man would wear a Rolex Oyster Perpetual in such an environment? A few days prior to his record flight, Yeager was seriously injured in a horse riding accident and suffered two broken ribs. The injury would jeopardize his flight status resulting in the removal from the mission. Scared, he went to a veterinarian for treatment and only told his wife about the accident. He also told his friend and fellow project pilot, Jack Ridley about the accident. Yeager, on the day of the record flight, had trouble manipulating the closure of the X-1's hatch, and could not seal it properly. His pal, Jack Ridley, improvised a clever leverage device made from a broom handle, to assist Yeager with sealing the hatch, thus, allowing him to break the "speed of sound" record. Chuck Yeager was so impressed with his Rolex, he sent an autographed picture (seen below) of his record flight to Rolex in Geneva. For the record, this is the first time this signed photo, from General Chuck Yeager, to Rolex, has ever been published. (And remember, you are seeing it for the first time here on Jakes Rolex World!!!) 1948 1948 was a very good year. After Chuck Yeager achieved the previously incomprehensible dream, Rolex and Hans Wilsdorf were moving full-speed-ahead into a wonderful new era. In 1948 Hans Wilsdorf was 67 years old, and despite his amazing achievements to date, the best was yet to come. Rolex U.S.A., was so excited with the level of progress, they published the following magazine ad which featured Hans Wilsdorf, as the "Watchman Of Our Time." By the way, if you are wearing your Rolex as you read this, Hans Wilsdorf is still the "Watchman Of Your Time ;-)))" 1949 This next magazine ad points out that the Geneva Observatory awarded Rolex an accuracy record on December 31, 1949 for their Maximum diameter movement of 30mm, or less. 1951 Hans Wilsdorf's 70th Birthday The photo below shows Hans Wilsdorf celebrating his 70th birthday in 1951, on Lake Geneva, while celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Rolex Oyster, which was the worlds first waterproof wristwatch. 1952 The Birth TUDOR Brand Advertising The origins of the TUDOR brand seem a little murky and confusing to me. It appears the TUDOR brand, was an ongoing pet-project for Hans Wilsdorf. The official historical accounting of the TUDOR brand comes directly from the TUDOR website: "For some years now I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that could attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex is famous, I decided to form a separate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the Tudor Watch Company." This announcement was made on 6 March 1946 by Hans Wilsdorf who, having created Rolex in the first decade of the 20th century was already a leading figure in the upmarket Swiss watchmaking world. It marked the birth of the TUDOR brand and its production an communications strategy. Hans Wilsdorf's intuition was as simple as it was ingenious. At that time, the development of wristwatches was in full swing and today's widespread drive to optimize resources, which is currently behind so many major financial and brand mergers, was still in the far-distant future. The public was ready to recognize and appreciate a moderately priced product whose technical, aesthetic and functional qualities, as well as its distribution, were guaranteed not by a newcomer on the market but by the Rolex brand, which had already earned worldwide renown for its high-quality production. This announcement was not merely words said for effect. It was Wilsdorf's genuine commitment to a program me. Between 1947 and 1952, therefore, TUDOR devoted itself to launching first the TUDOR Oyster model, followed by the TUDOR Oyster Prince collection, reflecting the successful marriage of precision and reliability, style and technique and high-quality production. That period also saw the emergence of the first advertisements devoted exclusively to TUDOR, in which Wilsdorf expressed pride and satisfaction regarding his personal involvement in creating this new brand. This certainly was a privileged and auspicious start for the brand, originally represented be a decorative rose, the famous symbol of a once long-reigning dynasty in England, the Tudors, who inspired Hans Wilsdorf to give their name to his new company. The famous name, however, never led the company to rest on its laurels. From the very beginning, this is a story of technical developments, like the waterproof Oyster case and the adoption of a self-winding movement, which were not relegated to mere functionality, but turned into stylish features of watch designed in both performance and appearance for modern, dynamic men. With Rolex to usher it into the world and accompany its first steps, the TUDOR brand very quickly carved out a niche for itself, quite independently of the brand with the five-prong crown. If we look closely, early traces of TUDOR and its creations can be found as far back as 1926, the year the brand was registered by the Swiss watchmaking com pay, "Veuve de Philippe Huther", on behalf of Hans Wilsdorf. In 1936, Wilsdorf took it over himself, and wen on to found the company Montres Tudor SA in 1946. It was, however, the products and advertising campaigns of the 1950s that really gave the brand its definitive strength and distinctive personality." Hans Wilsdorf and TUDOR launched the following magazine ad in 1952 and you can read it to best understand Hans Wilsdorf's approach. It has been argued that Hans Wilsforf created the Rolex line-extension with the Tudor brand so Rolex could take advantage of existing tooling that would have been obsoleted with the advent of new Rolex models. In other words, when Rolex would significantly update a model, the tooling used to make it was still useful, so Hans Wilsdorf wanted to take advantage of this financial opportunity. I have also heard, over the years, that Rolex would bring in Jr. watch makers who would begin their watchmaking career working on TUDOR watches, and eventually graduate to working on Rolex watches. ROLEX U.S.A. One of the questions that comes up often, is what Rolex of Geneva's relationship is with Rolex U.S.A.? Some people speculate that Rolex U.S.A. may be a separately controlled franchise of some sort? This is far from the truth. For the record, Rolex U.S.A., is and has always been a wholly owned subsidiary of Rolex of Geneva. Only Rolex knows for certain if the U.S. Market is the single largest market for their watches, and it appears, at least to us, that the U.S. Market is still the largest market-by far. The Rolex President In 1952 Dwight D.Eisenhower was elected President of the United States of America and this changed everything for Rolex. Rolex now had the ultimate leadership showcase for their revolutionary Rolex Datejust watch. The significance of this moment cannot be emphasized enough. Having the leader of the "Free-World" who also was an amazing military leader wearing his highly visible Rolex Datejust changed everything for the leadership position that Rolex now occupied. There have been many falsely propagated myths in Rolex folklore that suggest the Rolex Day-Date was referred to as "The Rolex President" or "The Rolex Presidential Model" because President Eisenhower supposedly wore one. THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!! J ake's Rolex World worked closely with the Eisenhower Rolex Presidential Library in 2008 and carefully combed through their archives and proved that Eisenhower only ever owned and wore a Datejust model . The supreme irony, is that in reality, the yellow gold Rolex Datejust, is really the true "Rolex President." I mentioned, Eisenhower's Rolex Datejust was a "State-of-the-Art" watch when it was first introduced in 1945. What made it "State-of-the-Art"? In order to answer this question accurately, it is important to understand the meaning of the term "complication" in the context of horology–horology being, by definition, the study and measurement of timing instruments. A watch in its purest form, only has one complication, which is the hour hand. In other words, the one handed pocketwatch we saw a the beginning of this article, that is part of the Hans Wilsdorf collection, gives you perfect hour and minute information with just one hand, thus making it a "watch" in its purest form. Adding a second hand to a watch is adding a "second complication." So all modern analog wristwatches, with a hour and a "unnecessary" minute hand, have two complications which are typically referred to as "base complications." When you add even a "second hand" it is considered to be an additional "complication." Any additional time or date keeping element added to a watch beyond the base is referred to as an additional "complication." For instance, a highly complicated wristwatch like the Rolex Moonphase [Reference 6062] which is pictured below, is referred to as a "Grand Complication" because it has, in addition to the hour and minute hands, a "Moonphase Indicator" as well as a "Day" and "Month" window, as well as a "Minute" hand. It may appear as if we are getting off-the-subject, but this is actually on point. The "Grand Complication" Rolex Moonphase pictured below [Reference 6062] was made in the early 1950s and was housed in a waterproof "Oyster" case. Hans Wilsdorf died in 1960, and by 1963, Andre Heiniger took over as the CEO of Rolex and completely stopped making complicated Rolex watches–much to the dismay of many collectors. It is likely they discontinued manufacturing and marketing the complicated watches, because they did not sell well at the time. So why did we sidetrack onto the subject of the complicated watches being discontinued directly after Wilsdorf's death? We believe, if he lived longer, or was still alive, he would have continued making complicated Rolex watches, and we think Rolex is crazy not to bring them back to life. So to come around full circle, we originally go on to this tangent because we were discussing what originally made the Rolex Datejust so "state-of-the-art" in 1945? The best way to answer this question is to analyze the original 1945 model as seen below. Ironically, the first Rolex Datejust lacked and "Datejust" designation on its dial? We believe it is likely, the watch was named the "Datejust" after it went into production in 1945, which would explain why it lack the designation. Also, notice the original 1945 Datejust does not have a "Cyclops" date lens. Also notice, its fluted bezel is extremely primitive compared to the fluted bezel we are familiar with today. If you look closely, you notice the original 1945 Datejust fluted bezel looks remarkably similar to the fluted bezel on the hermetically sealed pre-Oyster model shown earlier in this story–and that is because it is identical. In other words, the fluting on the Rolex Datejust and Day-Date, and even on the Submariner and GMT, all owe their genesis to the unscrewable top of the hermetically seal pre-Oyster Rolex!!! Eisenhower's Rolex One of the reasons I showed you the original Rolex Datejust pictured above, is because the 150.000th Officially Certified Swiss Chronometer that Rolex gave Eisenhower originally looked much more like it than the way it is pictured below. Why? Eisenhower sent in his Rolex for servicing in 1953 and Rolex completely upgraded his Datejust by adding a new bracelet, new dial with baton markers, new hands, and added their new cyclops crystal, thus making the watch look much more modern as seen below. The photo above and below are of Eisenhower's actual Rolex today. In the photo below, we see the D.D.E. initial engraved into the verso and on the bracelet clasp. Rolex also engraved his five stars on the verso, and they form a pentagon in their center. Rolex also engraved the date Eisenhower became the Supreme Commander of NATO in Europe in 1950. Hans Wilsdorf On Top Of The World Hans Wilsdorf is pictured below (left) with Ernst Bucherer, who is the son of Carl F. Bucherer who was the founder of the Bucherer Group. The Bucherer Group is the largest seller of Rolex watches to this day. Both Rolex and The Bucherer Group today are Switzerland's biggest luxury watch manufacturers. This fact is based largely on a deal that Hans Wilsdorf made almost 90 years ago with the founder of the Burcherer group, named Carl F. Bucherer. Carl F. Bucherer and Hans Wilsdorf were both spirited entrepreneurs who refused to join powerful Swiss cartels which dominated the Swiss watch industry during the early 20th century. Hans Wilsdorf and Carl F. Bucherer not only rebelled against the Swiss Watch Cartels, but in 1924 they started one of the most successful partnerships in the history of watches. By refusing to join the Federation Of Swiss Watch Manufacturers, Rolex and Bucherer changed watch history.  Hans Wilsdorf's 75th Birthday March 22, 1953   On March 22, 1953, Hans Wilsdorf celebrated his 75th birthday, in the drawing rooms of the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, Switzerland. To celebrate this event, Rolex put together an retrospective exhibition that mapped out all the Rolex history to that date. This included a letter Hans Wilsdorf wrote in 1912 to Aegler in Bienne asking him to produce a wristwatch capable of  achieving an Observatory timekeeping certificate. Of course, Aegler accepted the challenge and within 2 years, in 1914 Rolex achieved the first Class A Certificate ever to be award by an Observatory to a wrist-watch. With so much amazing Rolex history behind him, the best was yet to come... 1953 Rolex Conquers Mount Everest In 1953 and British mountaineering expedition set out to be the first to climb to the peak of Mount Everest. When Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay summited the top of Mount Everest, they were both wearing their trusted Rolex Oyster Perpetual wristwatches. 1953 Rolex Turn-O-Graph In 1953 Rolex introduced a new watch for sportsmen, named the Rolex Turn-O-Graph. The Rolex Turn-O-Graph was the first wrist watch to feature a rotatable bezel that could be used for timing events. 1953 Bathyscaphe Trieste Set's Depth Record of 10,350 Feet In 1953 The Bathyscaphe Trieste set a depth record of descending down to 10,350 feet, with a Rolex DEEP-SEA Special attached to the outside of it, as you can see from the vintage Rolex advertisement below. 1953 Jacques Cousteau Conquers The Ocean In 1953 Jacques Cousteau made an Academy Award winning color documentary which was the first to really show the world what sea-life was like, and Jacques-Yves Cousteau was wearing an early prototype Rolex Submariner, as he filmed "The Silent World" in the Mediterranean Sea. 1954 Milgauss Day-Date 1954 Pan Am GMT Master 1955 1958 Pan Am Crew is Pictured in front of their 707. Pan American Airlines was the first commercial airlines in the world to offer international service and was considered to be the premiere international U.S. airline of from the 1930 until it shut-down in 1991. 1955 Rolex Chronograph Reference 6234 Rolex also introduced the grandfather of the Daytona in 1955, known as the Rolex Chronograph [Reference 6234]. The Reference 6234 would be made from 1955 to 1961, and Rolex averaged approximately 500 units per year. 1957 Christopher Columbus Magazine Ad Watchman Of Our Time The two photos of Hans Wilsdorf below are the only images we have ever seen that shows him actually wearing a Rolex. He is wearing a Rolex Datejust on a Jubliee bracelet.  In a letter written in 1958, Hans Wilsdorf enumerated his criteria for coming up the name Rolex brand was: • Short Name (Five Letters or Less) • Easy to pronounce in every country and language • A Good Ring To It • Easy To Remember • Attractive on movement and dial. 1959 The Rolex Thunderbird 1959 Last Photos Of Hans Wilsdorf This next set of photos are the last known photos taken of Hans Wilsdorf. They were taken in 1959 at the site where Rolex was preparing to build the Bexley Rolex Service Center, which is located on Heathend Road, in Bexley, Kent in the U.K. Kent is located in South East England and it borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London. I can only guess who the people are posing in the photos with Hans Wilsdorf. My best guess is in this next photo, he is standing next to his sister. Notice how excited they both seem to be having their photo taken together. If my assumption is correct about the lady with the fox fur being Hans Wilsdorf's sister, I imagine the other people standing behind him are his sister's children and grand children. Also, I imagine this is the sister who was married to Hans Wilsdorf's original partner who was the "Davis" in "Wilsdorf & Davis." What is the significance of all this? When Hans Wilsdorf passed away he left Rolex in a trust, which the proceeds of went to his sister's family and descendants (nieces and nephews). If I am correct with my analysis, then you are looking at the people who own Rolex today... 1960 The Challenger Deep The following diagram gives a fascinating perspective on the Mariana Trench and the Challenger Deep. It is profound to note that the Challenger Deep at more than 35,000 feet is deeper than the highest point on earth which is Mt. Everest at just over 29,000 feet. It is profound, when you think about it, that Rolex really stopped innovating after the death of Hans Wilsdorf. In other words, all the great technical innovations like the waterproof Oyster Case and the Perpetual movement, all occurred during Hans Wilsdorf's lifetime. After Hans Wilsdorf died, Rolex stopped pushing the innovation envelope and maintained the direction he established, and primarily introduced new models, including the Daytona and Yacht-Master. Another Unanswered Question? One of the greatest questions, at least in my mind, is, what would Hans Wilsdorf have thought about the advent of the Quartz watch movement if he had lived just another few years? After Hans Wilsdorf's passing, Rolex rolex-song-meaning-rid-0.html. breitling navitimer heritage a35350 was one of the companies that pioneered the Swiss quartz movement, along with a consortium of other Swiss companies in 1962 at the CEH Research laboratory in Switzerland. This was apparently in direct response to the Japanese company Seiko which began developing the quartz movement in Japan in 1960–which was the year Hans Wilsdorf passed away. Seiko had its subsidiary named Epson develop the electronic quartz movement is secrecy in Japan under the codename of 59A. Seiko shocked the world when it introduced the quartz prototype movement at the 1964 Olympics which was actually used to successfully time Olympic events. In a shrewd move, Seiko did not seek to patent the quartz watch which allowed other manufactures to quickly develop quartz models, and lead the quartz revolution which has had an amazing impact on the watch industry to this day. So why do I bring up this seemingly bizarre question toward the end of the Hans Wilsdorf story? Rolex ended up bringing to market, under the leadership of Andre Heiniger, in the 1970s the Rolex Oyster Quartz models which were initially successful. Just a few years ago, Rolex stopped making quartz watches altogether since they have evolved the mechanical watch so it is nearly as precise as a quartz, but I can't help but wonder what Hans Wilsdorf would have thought about the advent of the quartz movement since he was constantly seeking to make movements that were as precise as possible, and to this day, the quartz movement is still the king of precision timekeeping. In other words, if Hans Wilsdorf would have lived another 10-20 years, would he have been more passionate about the quartz technology? or would he have shunned it? This is a question that will likely never be answered, but I think it is worth consideration. The Ghost In The Machine It can be argued, that every Rolex made today, has a piece of Hans Wilsdorf's soul in its DNA, and perhaps, that timeless perpetual spirit will live on eternally. If you are wearing a Rolex on your wrist as you read this, you are not only carrying around a part of this amazing history, but as you perpetuate it, you inevitably become a part of it, which is how Hans Wilsdorf wished it to be. As a matter of fact, Hans Wilsdorf's and his wife never had any children, and after she passed away in 1944, Hans Wilsdorf set up a the Hans Wilsdorf Trust which owns and controls Rolex to this day.
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A suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy grew in my mind, which turned the hairs on my head to filthy snakes as though my thoughts hissed and spat on my scalp. My bride’s breath soured, stank in the grey bags of my lungs. I’m foul mouthed now, foul tongued, yellow fanged. There are bullet tears in my eyes. Are you terrified? Be terrified. It’s you I love, perfect man, Greek God, my own; but I know you’ll go, betray me, stray from home. So better by for me if you were stone. I glanced at a buzzing bee, a dull grey pebbly fell to the ground. I glanced at a singing bird, a handful of dusty gravel spattered down I looked at a ginger cat, a housebrick shattered a bowl of milk. I looked at a snuffling pig, a boulder rolled in a heap of shit. I stared in the mirror. Love gone bad showed me a Gorgon. I stared at a dragon. Fire spewed from the mouth of a mountain. And here you come with a shield for a heart and a sword for a tongue and your girls, your girls. Wasn’t I beautiful Wasn’t I fragrant and young? Look at me now.

























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How to Catch George Strait’s Cowboy Hat by Alison Bonaguro 6/11/2014

Take it from Vernon Fiddler, the holder of George Strait‘s very last black Resistol show hat. This is how it’s done. Fiddler caught the hat from Strait at his last show on Saturday (June 7) in Arlington, Texas, where he’d played for a record-breaking crowd of 104,793 at AT&T Stadium.

Fiddler, a Dallas Stars hockey player, was at the show just for the love of the music. He told me he had listened to old-school country growing up in Western Canada. Then he played for the Nashville Predators for six years — from 2002-2009 — and country music was all around him. So when he heard Strait was coming to Texas, he had to go.

Although his touring days are done, Strait has indicated he’s open to singing at special events in the coming years. So I thought it would be a good idea to retrace Fiddler’s steps in case there’s ever a chance to catch a cowboy hat from Strait again.

1. Have excellent seats. “I was sitting in section 108, in about the sixth row on the floor, and Strait was right in front of me when it happened.”

2. Be in the right place at the right time. “I can’t believe I’m the one. But out of all those people, I got the hat.”

3. Know the meaning behind the music. “My favorite song of the night was ‘Cowboy Rides Away,’ his last song of the show, because it was so fitting for this concert because he’s done doing concerts.

4. Watch for the cues. “He’d said his goodbyes, took his guitar off, then he took his hat off and threw it into the crowd. It kind of boomeranged around, and then it hit me right in the chest. I grabbed it.”

5. Keep expectations low. “You don’t expect to catch anything. But then it happened, and it all happened so fast. I remember grabbing it and feeling it, and I protected myself because everyone was kind of scrambling.”

6. Know the hat’s value. “People were swarming around me to touch it and get their picture with it. A guy offered me his Rolex for it. And I’ve had other calls from people who want to buy it, and from the Country Music Hall of Fame that wants to display it. But I don’t want to let it go. Then again, I don’t want it collecting dust either. I think it’ll be cool to tell the story to grandkids someday.”

Alison Bonaguro Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville. Follow CMT News Tags: George Strait Related Posts: