JF Ptak Quick Post
Funny how in so many of these big crowd picture that I've performed surgery on that hats seem to be an issue. For example, there's this iconic photograph by Weegee (Arthur Felig, born Usher Felig in the Ukraine, 1898-1909, a man who lived for "the shot" and got it over and over again, evidently at the cost of just about everything else in his life) of the crowds at Coney Island. ("Weegee" was the phonetic spelling of Ouija, a moniker given to the man because he seemed be able to intuit the location of a crime or action of some sort. It helped that he was the only journalist/photographer given a license to have a police-band radio receiver at home and in his car.
So far as I can tell there is only one man in a hat--the guy in the bottom right corner of the image, and he's wearing a fedora at that. The person at 10:00 from him--white-hatted with a plastic visor--may be a man, too, in which case I'll have to amend this a little to restrict hats to fedoras. And wearing it, too, at the time of the photo--there's another man in there somewhere who is doffing his boater to the photographer. And that's about it. Not much sand in this picture.
It is a little unusual, this hat business--but Weegee at least has captured hats in unusual places. Finding his bread buttered by crime photography and the gritty aspect of late-night city life, Weegee documented all manner of criminal activities in NYC during the 1930's-1950's, including more than his fair share of Mafia slayings. I recall several of this photographs featuring the "hit" face-down on the pavement or on the table-clothed tabletop, hat still firmly in place. MOMA bought several of Weegee's works in the 1940's for an exhibit called "Action Photography"--which I guess would describe Weegee's work, though if the action was starkly captured by a flash at night in tough surroundings, the description might be better.