"Rejoice!: A Retrospective of Avtar Gill, the Cincinnati Hat Man" opened Friday at the Thunder-Sky Gallery with remarks from City Councilman Chris Seelbach and County Commissioner Todd Portune.
I always think about Avtar whenever there is an event downtown, it doesn't seem right not seeing Avtar with the latest current event displayed on a homemade banner rubber banned to his hat. I've always thought that Avtar understood twitter and facebook before they were invented because what are those social media apps if not digital manifestations of Avtars hats?
Everyone had their own stories to tell and I have a couple. I still remember the first time I saw Avtar, I was walking off Fountain Square and the sun was shining through the skywalk. I glanced up and this character was walking through with that hat that I wouldn't understand until later. Plus there were these two antenna type things waving around his head with stars on them.
Wow, I thought, I'm not in Kansas anymore.
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit I saw Avtar so often that I took him for granted and stopped taking pictures. He wasn't a novelty anymore. Not for me at least.