I had a chance to catch up with an old friend. We talked about every single thing – you know, the full monte. Part of the gabfest went like this:

"Hey Phil, if you have any money, invest in 'bucket hats.' They're still hot from last summer," he said.

After I looked up what bucket hats looked like, I agreed, it was a no-brainer.

"Blazing, positive, bright colors are trending. You'll sell a ton of them because they look fashionable, and they protect from the sun," he said.

The only snag is I'm not a retailer, but I was grateful for the tip nonetheless.

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My friend is a very successful manufacturer whose family made everything from pajamas to ladies apparel here on the SouthCoast.

"You have no idea how many families we had working for us," he said. "But those days are long gone and they're not coming back. That's why we moved out west."

Something else that came up talked about the culture of people's changing buying habits. What are shoppers looking for?

"I can tell you this, with the bucket hats, they have to be sturdy, sustainable, and functional," he said. "They're wearing them for protection from the sun's rays at the beach, but when you can wear it casually at the pool and then convert it into an accent fashion piece to compliment the total look, then you've got a crowd-puller."

I suppose we should give some credit to castaway Gilligan from the Gilligan's Island sitcom for making an early fashion statement, but you can also credit Rihanna, who started the bucket hat trend when the paparazzi got snapshots one summer's night last year in NYC of her wearing a Prada nylon bucket hat in a chic, sea-green color. She looked great in a print top and jeans, but it was the hat that brought it together and made the outfit look cool and not at all childlike.

So if you have any money, you may want to consider buying shares in bucket hats.

Crocs Are Taking Over the SouthCoast

Barry Richard wasn't a big believer in the comfort of Crocs until he went to the Dartmouth Mall and tried some on for himself. He left with them, but before he bought them, he snapped some pics of all the different designs available for other Crocs converts.

Vintage Food Tickets for Sale From Warwick's Rocky Point Park

As much as everyone loved visiting Rocky Point Park in Warwick, Rhode Island for its fun rides and amusements, the food was also a major draw as well. From clam cakes and Manhattan clam chowder to complete shore dinners featuring steamed lobsters, you can still close your eyes and smell the deliciousness. We checked out some eBay ticket auctions for snacks gone by to remember Rocky Point's menu items.

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