Passing the Hat
When I was starting out I often sang at places where people didn’t pay to hear the music. We simply passed the hat. While it was understood putting something in the hat was never required it was always appreciated. Many passed when the hat was passed. Some put in the change in their pockets. A few would open their billfolds and put in what Tom T. Hall called "back-pocket money". Sometimes someone might simply write a note and put that in the hat.
Making money was far from the heart of what we were doing back then. It was about getting together, about the joy of sharing songs and stories. About being part of a community. Part of something bigger than ourselves. Knowing we were not alone. Getting paid was more an afterthought.
So, after thinking about it, everyone who visits here these days is welcome to freely explore every room. I am truly grateful to everyone who visits, and additionally grateful when someone decides to put something in the hat.