God bless Roff Smith! Roff is a writer for National Geographic and other worthy publications. Roff first contacted me in March of 2005, inquiring about a hat for himself. One email led to another and it wasn’t long before Roff found himself virtually ensnared by fine strands of paja toquilla and escalating dreams of The Perfect Panama Hat. As a Man of Conscience, he also became intrigued by my efforts to save the art of fine hat weaving in Montecristi. Brilliant! Roff flew from London to Honolulu in September to see for himself how the hats are blocked. I am pleased to report that he survived a week of my cooking and coffee-making. Roff and I will meet up again in November in Montecristi. He wants to see it all. Naturally, he intends to write the definitive book on the topic. Brilliant!
Yes, those are my photos. And yes, I am at least as excited as you might imagine to have my photos published in National Geographic. As a man of lofty ambitions, from my very first shot in 1988 I imagined my hat weaver photos in National Geographic. I feel like I’ve been on assignment for 18 years. I’m glad Roff finally let them know I’ve been working for them in silence and anonymity for all these years. Wow. National Geographic. Praise the Lord and pass the zoom lens.
For books by Roff Smith at Amazon.com, click here.
Text and photos © 1988-2022, B. Brent Black. All rights reserved.
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