Why do my brims keep getting longer? [Hint: It's got nothing to do with telling lies.] I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and have been in California for the past twenty-seven years. When I first moved west and opened a hat store, I was comfortable in fedoras; they represented who I was as a Detroiter, my experience, what I knew. But my hat style preference has changed. No longer do I feel like myself in a fedora. The air around me has changed and so have I. Although I do not wear full-blown western hats, my brims have been getting bigger. I now wear - what we in the industry call - a "crossover" style (as between East and West). I am more a Westerner every day. Is one's choice of headwear fated by geography? Yes, I say. As Jared Diamond argues in GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL: The Fates of Human Societies - geography is fate. Diamond is describing the "big picture" of human history from the time of its origins, but I am arguing that it's true on a smaller scale and for individuals too. I'll illustrate with two political examples: a. In the 2003 California recall election, voters resoundingly decided to recall Governor Gray Davis: 55.4% for recall and 44.6% against. However the vote in San Francisco and Alameda (Berkeley and Oakland) Counties was over 80% not to recall. Are some people simply wrong on the political merits and others right, or is geography political fate? b. My friend is a developer in Portland, Oregon by way of Boston and Ann Arbor, Michigan. He likes small projects that he believes are in the interest of making for a better, culturally richer, local community. The convoluted, slow-moving, overly bureaucratic process of pulling city permits and moving projects along exasperates him. Recently he remarked, "It's enough to make me think about becoming a Republican". He had no answer when I asked, "What if you didn't have Boston and Ann Arbor in your background?". Political experience is different from one place to another. Nobody is necessarily "right" on the merits. "Crossing Over" is very instructive. The difference between a Republican and a Democrat may be no more or less significant than the difference between a fedora and cowboy hat. What is important - for a broader understanding of our small planet - is to "Keep On Crossin'".