Craigslist may be most notorious for getting a few hapless victims together with their murderers, but I've found it to be a life-enhancing Force for Good through freecycling. I haven't scored too many treasures through their free section, but I've had the pleasure of re-homing some choice items to others in my eternal quest to declutter the Crazy Stable. Most recent case in point: My old deerstalker.
God knows how long ago, or where, I procured this object. A size 7 1/4, it perched ridiculously on my big head, but I wore it occasionally in college or shortly thereafter, perhaps while stalking the odd English actor or two. (I love the Conan Doyle stories, but have always been more enchanted by the cinematic incarnations of Holmes, from Basil Rathbone to Robert Downey, Jr., with special affection for Nicol Williamson's tenderly strung-out cokehead and Robert Stephen's fruity/plummy turn for Billy Wilder.)
But the time had come to de-accession. Daughter spurned it, and it seemed a poor candidate for the Goodwill, so I posted:
Genuine Worth & Worth 'deerstalker' hat. About 20+ years old, but only worn a few times (in a smoke-free, pest-free household) by a Person of Impeccable Hygiene. Fine wool hat for general head-warming apps, and of course indispensable for a Sherlock costume. (Sorry, no pipe or Watson available.) Pick up at my house near Prospect Park. BTW, what's your favorite Holmes story?
That last query was to winnow out the freecyling bottom-feeders who seemingly grab for anything. (Do they all request the endless offers of packing peanuts and "like-new" mattresses, I wonder?) To my surprise, the ad triggered a small torrent of eager takers, many of whom sent frantic pleas from their Blackberries. Together, their responses made a lovely collage of "stories from the Naked City" (although one with a great fondness for headwear). A sampling:
so wonderful, please say i may pk up on sunday, thanks, jakiee
Omg do you still have it? My favorite story is The adventure of The Noble Bachelor! Let me know. –austin
I love hats of all kinds in the process of making a large collection of different styles please contact me …Julio
althought I would love it--I fear it is too small for me (I am 7 3/4) but nice to see a real deerstalker again! Oh 'The Man with the Twisted Lip'
best of luck
[Subject line: The Hound of the Baskervilless]
Is this hat still available? It's perfect for my father, he loves Sherlock Holmes! I want to give it to him for his birthday! I can come pick it up.
[Subject line: I have a huge hat collection for the theatre]
i'm in the theatre and have boaters, pith helmets, mosquite helmets, and on and on--but nothing like that. i'd love to add it if it's not promised.
Is this still available? Every year I say I'm going to make a Sherlock Holmes costume for my dog, and every year I wait too long. This year he went as a surfer dude instead, but a wily detective is much more dignified.
Kate [included picture of her dog in a blond wig]
I would LOVE, love, love to get this hat from you to wear. I enjoy things with history and due to a "gum incident' sleeping with my nieces, my formerly should length hair is now for the most part only 1/2" long. I rarely wear hats, however with lack of hair to keep me warm, I must succumb to wearing one. I would love to continue to give your hat new life. I am a non-smoker. Lastly, the Sherlock Holmes stories are books that I give my nieces and nephews as they are able to read them. They brought me considerable happiness as a child. I walked around with carrots hanging out of my mouth envisioning that I was Ms. Sherlock Holmes. I can pick up TONIGHT. Thanks, Lisa
I'd love this wonderful hat. Hound of the baskerville, would unfortunately have to be the only story that I've read featuring the venerable mister Holmes. But I'm hoping this hat will change all that! Please let me know!
I guess I don't have a particular favorite story, but I do like Holmes, and actually smoke a pipe. I'd love to get the hat. Let me know,
The Blue Carbuncle! Where the jewel is found in the crop of the goose (it bothers me not a bit that geese have no crops...). What's yours?! If the hat is still available I would stop by for it! Liam
My boyfriend needs this! Is it still available? --Ashley
I'd love to come pick up the hat some time tomorrow morning. As for my favorite Holmes story, I'll go with The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Austin got the hat because he responded first with a story name. He showed up on the porch, a pleasant young hipsterish fellow, and bore it away with apparent delight. But I regretted not having waited long enough to give it to a lady named Sarah. She specified both her favorite novel (Hound of the Baskervilles) and story (The Musgrave Ritual), but she absolutely aced the e-mail subject line:
Oh my holy god I must have this object.
Sorry, Sarah. But don't despair; who knows what else may emerge from the closets?
Illustrations: Sidney Paget