When Joella Gammage Torres first met Willie Nelson, she was eight years old and sitting on top of a chest-style Coca-Cola machine in the hallway of her family’s custom hat shop, Texas Hatters. Her father, Manny Gammage, walked in the back door with a companion who was hiding under a serape. She thought the bearded man with long braids was a drifter until she was formally introduced. Nelson was just one of many musicians and celebrities who sought out her father’s work from the seventies through the early nineties. Perhaps one of Gammage’s biggest supporters was one of the original “cosmic cowboys.” “My dad always said that it was Jerry Jeff Walker that kind of introduced him to Willie and Waylon and all the rest of the boys, as he put it,” recalls Torres. Now 56, she has run the shop since her father’s death in 1995.

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