The Hard Hat

Origins Of The Hard Hat Brotherhood

Sometimes it just takes a good THWACK to the back of the head.

My name is Andrew Smith a.k.a. Andy, the Head Hard Hat and I would just love to tell you that the origins of the HHBrotherhood came to me as an inspiration out of the blue. The truth is it was more like a two-by-four to the back of the head – THWACK!

You see, I’m a guy and before the Hard Hat Brotherhood existed I exhibited typical guy behavior. For fun let’s name that behavior “Husband-Couch-Potatoitis” and I will give you a few of the symptoms. See if these sound familiar. I spent hours on end in front of some sort of luminary device like a large screen TV, computer monitor, gaming console… you get the idea. So captivated by these seemingly harmless appliances that the only communication I was able to convey to my wife, Char, came in the form of nods and grunts. Selective hearing soon set in. That is when your wife gets no response to requests like “take out the garbage” or “the lawn needs to be mowed”, but does get an immediate response to “honey, would you like a cold one?”. Any of this ring any bells? Unknown to me at that time I was sinking into a solitary stagnant existence much like a hermit, only with cable and broadband connections. Needless to say, my wife was not too pleased with my behavior and soon she started shopping around for a two-by-four.

Char became involved with the Red Hat Society in February 2004. When I say involved I mean like to exist you need air, water, food and the RHS. The kicker is I didn’t even realize at first that she had started her own Chapter, named it the “Flaming Red Divine Divas” and she was now The Queen. I was too busy watching ESPN. Even as the family room started to fill up with a wild assortment of newly designed hats, feather boas and rhinestones I was still oblivious. All I cared about was that the three hat stands, complete with large hats, on top of our projection TV did not impede the current game of the week. My first real recollection that something was up was when I had to physically start moving the hatboxes out of my computer chair. You see, I sort of had a ‘slight’ obsession with computer games when I wasn’t watching television. As you can no doubt imagine I was a bit slow on the uptake back then. My constant self-isolation was building stress in our marriage and the THWACK of all thwacks was a comin’ but I still didn’t have a clue. That was when fate stepped in.

My Queen was about to hold her first RHS Chapter Event. An event is when a bunch of Red Hat Society ladies get together and do things. I was in my usual male mood of wondering why I had been taken out of my busy schedule of watching television to be dragged along to unload and help setup all of my wife’s RHS stuff. Okay so I was a bit of a jerk back then – remember this is in the past. We finished the setup for her and the Red Hats ladies started coming in. My wife looks at me, smiles and waves and I realize that is my cue to leave. Here I am, literally on the outside of a restaurant looking in and waiting. As I am about to start exploring my new outside environment, I notice some of the other RHS husbands standing near by. I knew one of them so I went over and we started talking. Joking at first about our ladies, the conversations then turned to more in-depth topics. I suggested we find someplace to continue talking and maybe get something to eat. Everyone agreed and we ended up having a great time, just us guys – go figure. After a few more RHS events it became the normal thing to do. Drop off the ladies, set-up the event and then go out with the guys. We actually looked forward to meeting up just as much as the ladies did.

After three or four months of doing this my wife suggested that since I liked doing this so much, why not start up my own guys club? My response was typical male-like behavior; I rolled my eyes and whined that “nobody is going to want to join a guy’s club!”. “How do you know if you don’t try?” she said, smiling that sly smile that always means I already lost the debate. THWACK! Well you know, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing to try.

She suggested that maybe we should have hard hats and that way we could even decorate them. My response was less than enthusiastic; I am thinking, “you have got to be kidding me. No male in his right mind is going to decorate something like a hard hat and wear it out in public – No Way”. THWACK! Hey, you know we would be a club and we do want to draw some attention to ourselves otherwise no one knows we are a club, right? Why not. The guys thought it was a great idea and we all started creating our own hard hats.

The Hard Hat Brotherhood was born and with it I found a new outlet. Through this outlet I have been able to maintain great friendships with guys all around the country. I absolutely love being able to not only go out with just the guys a few times a month but also have combined events with our Red Hat wives so we can share fun times together. As men it is easy for some of us to just let ourselves fall into an isolated way of existing. I have found through the HHBrotherhood that it is also just as easy to go out and make friends and actually enjoy life instead of just passing through it. It took my wonderful wife Char and several THWACKs to the back of my head to figure this out. It is now my joy and goal in life to help other men figure this out as well. As young boys and men many of us were part of “a gang” of some sort, be it sports, band, science club, cars, poker night, etc. and treasured those friendships. We now provide that same type of friendship and interaction for adult men. The guys know they have “Brothers” all across the country and we are spreading around the world.

The Hard Hat Brotherhood is now an international organization made just for men and is currently sweeping the United States and now all over the world. Based on the simple premise that men sometimes just want to go out and be one of the guys. While participating in HHBrotherhood events there are no rules, regulations or honey-do lists. Any guy from age of 18 and up may join in the pursuit of having fun doing “guy stuff”. Please visit our website at and be sure to sign yourself up. General membership is free. You can also email Andy, the Head Hard Hat at and always remember the Hard Hat Brotherhood motto: Testosterone: Our Guys Are Full Of It!

©2007, Andy Smith

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Source: Andy Smith, HHBrotherhood Central, 8449 Parkridge Drive, Dexter, MI 48130, or 734.846.2283 or or

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