I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
December 11, 2013
My husband and I have been married nearly 12 years, and in that time, we’re fortunate to have grown so close that almost nothing can come between us.
Notice I said ‘almost.’
One minor disagreement has managed to put a certain amount of strain on our relationship. It involves a particular hat that my husband likes to wear. Already, many of you know where this is going.
For the last 50 years (I’m making that estimate just by looking at the thing), Dennis has owned an ushanka. “A what?” you ask.
For as long as I’ve known him, Dennis, a TV news reporter (if the picture above wasn’t enough to clue you in), has pulled out the trusty ushanka every time he has to do a live shot in wintery weather. I’m sure it looked great when he bought it– but over the years it has taken a beating, to put it mildly. Back in 2010, I wrote about the ushanka in my Suburban Turmoil column for the Nashville Scene. Here’s an excerpt:
A close look at the hat revealed that its wool interior had become matted. Its earflaps sagged. Its sheepskin was worn and discolored. It looked as if our dog had perhaps used the ushanka as a plaything at some point, and it also seemed to have shrunk, since Hubs no longer wore it pulled down over his ears, but instead perched it atop his head like a child’s hat made of newspaper.
“Hubs,” I said gently, after yet another one of my readers made a reference to seeing “that hat thing” on television. “I think it might be time to retire the ushanka.”
He bristled. “I’ve had that hat for 20 years,” he said.
“I know,” I replied. “That’s kind of my point.”
“People like the ushanka!” Hubs insisted. “It makes them laugh!”
“And not in a good way!” I retorted.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that column ended up taking the ushanka to another level here in Nashville. People began to treat a sighting of my husband’s ushanka a lot like I imagine the residents of Punxsutawney act when they see their famous groundhog. Dennis’s hat became a hilarious symbol of winter’s arrival in Middle Tennessee- and of the panic that ensues on local news when anything frozen falls from the sky.
I’ve evolved as a wife since writing that column, and I’m learning now to choose my battles. I love Dennis, and if having him as a husband means dealing with an ugly-ass ushanka, I guess I can live with it. And that’s a good thing, because if the city of Nashville has anything to do with it, it looks like that hat is here to stay.
A few days ago, freezing rain was in the forecast. A little after five pm that day, this appeared in my Facebook feed.
Yep. The ushanka was back, and better than ever.
Perhaps hoping to put an end to the ushanka problem once and for all, someone at WSMV posted a photo of Dennis in his ushanka on the official Channel Four Facebook page, asking people what they thought of it. I’m guessing they thought viewers would shame Dennis into removing his infamous winter hat forever.
265 comments and 515 ‘likes’ later, it was official. People love that damn ushanka. Sure, a few people were down on it, but the overwhelming majority said stuff like this:
Seeing him wearing that hat is like watching Chevy chase’s Christmas vacation….it’s a tradition!!
Hey, those hats are warm, try standing out there for hours on end giving weather updates in the cold rainy weather…. You go Dennis!!!
I like it! Practical and warm with just a bit of good humor tossed in for good measure.
If it keeps your head warm. Its a keeper.
And that’s not all. Dennis Ferrier’s hat now has its own Facebook and Twitter accounts. And although yesterday he got lucky and wasn’t assigned to cover the light snow that fell overnight in Nashville, his hat still made it on the air:
All this to say that I feel it’s important for me to publicly acknowledge something.
I WAS WRONG.
Dennis, you can wear that ushanka any time you like and I promise, I won’t say a word.
But don’t get too comfortable– If you ever do this again…
We’re going to have some issues.
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Hilarious! My family loves to watch for Dennis’ ushanka on the news. When it makes an appearance, we know it’s officially winter in Nashville!
Oh dear! (I love your blog, by the way!)
That is hysterical. I saw him wearing it the other night on the news and immediately I thought “What the hell is that on his head?” It just sit’s there, not even covering his ears. But after reading this, I have to agree with you, let him wear the ugly thing if people like it and he finds comfort in it! 🙂
Linds. he has had that hat for 20 years. Now I think to help you deal with and learn to love his hat to get him a NEW one just like the one he has would be a very nice gesture to let him know that there is NOTHING that could come between you to. I agree with you it is an UGLY-ass hat but hey look who is wearing it your husband a Nashville icon and a Dam good reporter so start looking now im sure they are flying outa the stores
Luv you guys…..
back in like the 80s your husband was in the middle of the interstate during a february snow storm watching people drive on ice and wreck. he had us in stiches saying things like, “woooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wooooooooooooooooooooop!” and other random sound effects because it was just a mess. he is one of the funniest newscasters EVER!
I cracked up when I saw the hat had it’s own Facebook page (which I immediately “liked”!). Gave me a laugh in an otherwise horrible day!
Hope tomorrow is better. 🙂
I like Dennis’ style. He’s not afraid to be unique.
We love ‘The Hat’ in Lawrenceburg!!!
Hmmm. Maybe I can convince him to GIVE it to the city of Lawrenceburg? As a gift???
Ha! What can you do when the hat develops a career of its own?
I hate to tell you this, but in Atlanta, all the hipsters are are doing pattern shirts with pattern ties just like that. It makes me wince every time I see one.
The hipsters are wearing ushankas now, too. Dennis was also several years ahead of the times with his coral pants and pajama-bottoms-as-pants looks. I’m pretty sure he missed his true calling as a Project Runway contestant.
dear lord, Lindsay, i love you. this needs to be an episode of that comedy that should exist based on your life
People who grow up in Southern California have trouble adjusting to the temperature change in the winter in the midwest.
You should change the name of this column to Suburban Turban.
Hi Lindsey – Found one for $99;95 at Furhatworld.com: Yukon Sheepskin & Suede Russian Ushanka Hat -The Yukon Trooper -Model # GB-117. Maybe you can crowdfund one!