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Hats off

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | December 19, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Pat Moore knows times are tough.

He knows there are struggling families out there.

One way he could help this holiday season, he decided, was to hang stocking caps on the chain-link fence of his Harrison Avenue home, free for the taking.

“There’s a lot of people hurting out there,” he said.

About 15 caps, red, pink, black and white, one with gloves, were attached to the fence fronting his eclectic home. One was taken shortly after they were put up.

That made Moore happy.

He hopes they all are gone soon. He figures some parents have to decide between buying food or clothes for their kids. As they’ll likely pick food, Moore wants to provide hats, especially in the winter. He worries about kids being cold and notices sometimes they aren't wearing hats, even in the cold.

“Kids walk to school all the time,” Moore said while wearing a colorful jester hat. “You keep your head warm because all the heat, it escapes that way.”

The hats are new and used, with the used ones washed and dried. He has been in the habit of buying stocking hats at stores and had more than he could ever use. He planned to donate them to a church, but it didn’t work out.

So with little fanfare — one passerby noticed and called The Press, so impressed was she by his actions — he hung them on the fence on his property that’s been in the family nearly nine decades.

No need to ask. Don't knock on the door. Just help yourself.

“I figure somebody might come and take them all,” he said. “As long as they go to keep somebody warm, that’s the main thing.”

One boy zipped past on his bike and waved.

“The kids need them,” Moore said. “That’s the reason I put them out there. Kid walks by, grabs one. If he grabs two, maybe he needs one for a friend. That’s the main reason.”

With that, Moore begins to walk back to his house. The hats hang there. Not for much longer, he hopes.

He looks back with a big smile and shouts: “Ho, ho, ho, ho.”

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BILL BULEY/Press

One of the free hats on Pat Moore's fence on Thursday.

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BILL BULEY/Press

A young cyclist rides past the Harrison Avenue fence with free hats hanging from it on Thursday.