The Legend of the Green Hats


Tom Moes wearing the original green hat in 1978 with red pom pom with Baby Mike Moes wearing a red hat with green pom pom to complement his Daddy's hat!

In December 1976  Tom Moes had a special Christmas request of his bride of just 6 months, a winter hat to keep him warm at the boatyard.  His color of choice was green.

If only that young newlywed knew what she was  getting herself into with that simple Christmas gift one is left to wonder if she would have ever made it at all.   As Carolyn, Tom’s wife of 35 years fondly remarks, “I think it is the dorkiest hat.”  And now that dorky hat has become legend as the Tom Moes trademark around the boatyard.

Carolyn Moes made Tom a bright green winter hat as requested all those years ago in between catching babies as a midwife.   Her original design was a green hat with a green pom-pom.  Maybe all those long hours waiting on babies made her a bit silly as anyone who has worked third shift or pulled an all-nighter knows.  In the spirit of Christmas she attached a red pom-pom to top off her splendid creation, “but only as a joke” she insists to this very day. Her intention was to take off the red pom-pom and replace it was the original green pom-pom, after Christmastime.  Well, it was no joke to Tom.  He loved it just as it was.  The original design just stuck.

Much to Carolyn’s dismay, The Hat has had to be re-created on more than one occasion due to several mishaps over the years.  Once the hat was plucked off of Tom’s head by a tree branch while maneuvering through raging rapids by canoe!  Although Tom pulled over at first chance and waded into the freezing water he sadly watched The Hat fall from the branch and never to surface.  It drowned.  Carolyn made another hat.  Tom said it had to have a red pom pom.

Another time, Tom was burning brush and the fire “was a good one.”  As he was throwing sticks on the fire he managed to catch his hat and toss it into the flames.  He heroically went after it, but it was badly charred.  With a heavy heart he showed Carolyn the smokey hat.  Despite Carolyn throwing the hat in the trash on more than one occasion, Tom would salvage it and wear it essentially forcing his wife to make a new one or else she would have to live with her husband wearing a barbequed hat.  Of course with a red pom pom.

Eventually The Hat had more incarnations.  In 1994, Carolyn secretly worked on hats for all her boys, Mike, Matt and Geoff which she again did in the late night hours at the hospital.  The boys and Tom would all happily wear their matching hats as their band, The Moes-Art Quartet practiced.  These jam sessions often took place during Carolyn’s 24 hour shifts on the weekends at the hospital and the band members would feast on french bread pizza and milkshakes.

Carolyn made her most recent version of The Hat for the newest member of the Moes family, Owen Martin Moes.  Owen is Tom and Carolyn’s first grandchild and many declare him to be the spitting image of his Grandpa, Thomas Owen.  Maybe it’s just the hat!


About Maura

During a nursing internship in the summer of 2001, I shadowed Carolyn Moes and after a fair amount of meddling/matchmaking from my mother (also a nurse) and Carolyn I met Mike Moes in Boston. I officially became a Moes on August 26, 2006. I have followed in my mother-in-laws footsteps in birthwork as well as being a boatyard wife. In February, Mike and I became very proud parents to our Owen, the first born of the 4th generation!