Mr. McBride retired 12 years ago from GM Powertrain, where he was a repairman. The list of people who have happily given him their caps and other headgear include municipal safety workers and members of the armed forces.
Among the numerous baseball caps and cowboy hats are ones that belonged to city of Toledo workers, a SWAT team, police officers, members of the Army, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the USS Missouri, USS Cook, Elks, and Masonic, and there’s even a Mexican sombrero.
While his collection includes a stovepipe hat of the type that Abraham Lincoln made famous, many are signed and dated by their previous owners, including one from a member of the Silver Bullet band.
And when utility workers showed up at his home to read the meters, they were so impressed with his collection that they gladly handed him the hats from their uniforms.
“It all started after my dad died in 1989 when I kept my dad’s hat,” he said. “The next thing you know I was collecting hats. I didn’t plan on it, but it just started out that way.”
In his prized car collection are replicas of presidential cars, including one that looks like the car in which President Kennedy was riding when he was assassinated. He also has a license plate from every state in the country.
Mr. McBride is one retiree who will not be found pining away trying to figure out how to spend his time. He makes Halloween costumes and is an amateur artist. Some of his favorite drawings in his home are of family members and favorite people and characters, including Elvis Presley, Jesus Christ, and Betty Boop.
Of course, a person could talk about the replicas of lighthouses that Mr. McBride also put together himself. But that would distract from what seems to be most dear to him — hats.
Contact Rose Russell at: email@example.com or 419-724-6178,