Page 9 - Scene Magazine 44-12 December 2018
P. 9

Scene Around Town
breweries, ginger ale, fiber optics, and lest we forget, breakfast cereal. But there’s another item that ‘tops’ them all... Stormy Kromers caps.
The Kromer is not only constructed of wool for these wonderful winter months, but also made of cotton and canvas for those who like the ‘Elmer Fudd-look’
The other day as I was standing in line at the grocery, a place in which fam- ilies can be Scene Around Town doing the same thing separately but together,
I noticed something else that most of
us have in common. Nearly everyone was wearing a hat. Not just any hat, but Stormy Kromers.
the engine cab to help steer the train; every time he did, the wind gusted his hat off. Tired of coming home without his headgear, Stormy asked Ida, who was an excellent seamstress, if she could fashion a cap that would stay on his head no matter how hard the wind blew. She got to work and created a six-panel cap with a special flap that looped down the back onto Stormy’s neck. That extra piece of fabric also doubled as an ear cover on those frigid upper Midwestern days in the fall and winter. That was in 1903.
all year round. New colors beyond the original buffalo red plaid have grown in popularity from greens and browns, plaids and plain, to hunter orange and basic black.
Here is how it all began. George ‘Stormy’ Kromer was a semi-profes- sional baseball player. He was on the roster of more than two dozen Midwest teams, until he met his future wife Ida. It seems that Ida’s father was not so keen on his daughter dating someone with such a transient life. So Stormy left the ‘fields of dreams’ and got a real job as an engineer on the Chicago & Northwest- ern Railroad, and got Ida’s hand and her father’s blessing.
For those of a gentler persuasion, there is an Ida-line of caps in a softer pallet of pink, white and silver. I have even seen, though I know they are not ‘official’ colors, a couple of homemade tie-dye caps as well – very sporty for those unable to choose just one shade.
As engineers often had to do, Stormy would stick his head out the window of
Nearly 100 years later, the head of Jacquart Fabric Products purchased the Stormy Blizzard Cap Company in Milwaukee and moved it to Ironwood,
Everywhere you look nowadays, whether the occasion is formal or infor- mal, no matter the season be it sultry summer or windy winter, you will see Stormys perched on perfect pates. I doff my cap to the real ‘engine-uity’ of the Midwestern and American spirits as ‘Scene’ around our own town.
Michigan and Wisconsin are known worldwide for lots of things. There’s the auto- mobile, the blender, hospital beds, synthetic penicillin, ice cream sundaes,
Michigan, its current home. It seemed only natural since da Yoopers (residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) had been wearing the Kromers for genera- tions as part of their official garb to fight off the cold and blizzardly weather.
I doff my cap to the real ‘engine-uity.’
After that, the special chapeau never blew off and soon Stormy’s friends asked him if we would get Ida to make some Kromer caps for them too. The demand grew such that Ida had to hire others to help keep up with the requests.
No matter the color, they all still have the signature little shoe string tie in the front with black aglets and Stormy’s signature and the 1903 date on the cap’s back honoring when it all started.
This Holiday Season these advertisers are “Giving Back” to the Community by having a portion of their ad cost being donated to a non-profit of their choice.
200 Westbrook Court, Marshall, MI 49068 269.781.4997 • Fx: 269.789.2289 •
A portion of the proceeds of this ad will be contributed to Fork’s Senior Center.
A portion of the proceeds of this ad will be contributed to the Haven of Rest.

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