|Les Trois Frères|
The Musician, The Old AF Sarge and The Olde Vermonter
While visiting the ancestral homeland over the past weekend, I was strolling around la maison de ma mère (Mom's house - I'll stop being pretentious now, maybe) enjoying the many things which remind me of home and my childhood. Those three pictures above brought back a memory of "the old days". Back when we were young. Back when long hair was just coming into vogue.
I was the oldest of the three lads and when I started high school, I thought it would be peachy-keen-neato to have long hair. Now I don't mean Metallica long -
More like early Beatles long, like this -
Though I was pushing for more the 1965 version of The Beatles, as in the movie Help!
At one point in time (there is an extant photograph) I did have a rather McCartney-esque look going on while a member of the high school ski team. (Note that I was the manager, not an actual competitor, my Alpine skiing abilities being somewhat pedestrian and my desire to do Nordic-style skiing conflicted with my well-known laziness. After all, cross-country skiing is much like running, but on skis. I only run to get away from something or while chasing a ball of some sort, with the opportunity to actually collide with someone always being desired at some point.)
But my Father had proclaimed that "no son of mine will ever look like one of those long-haired foreign bastards". Or words to that effect. (Hhmm, I'm sure that if we had been Chinese he would have referred to The Beatles and the like as "foreign devils". Gwai Lo!)
For Dad was convinced that The Beatles (and others of their ilk) were to be the death-knell of western civilization. He grudgingly allowed Mom to purchase the occasional Beatles record (usually an album per year and the occasional single) but none of that Rolling Stones nonsense - work of the devil that was!
So the McCartney look didn't last long. When spring came and Dad saw me without a hat, it was time to visit the barber. (I saw this same "stocking cap used to camouflage the fact that one's hair is too long trick" used in the Air Force some years down the road... But I digress.)
When we were really young kids we received crew cuts periodically. I did not care for the crew cut. Not then, not now. Of course, part of my problem with the crew cut is that I have a rather oddly shaped head. At least I think I do. I mentioned that once to The Missus Herself, she agreed that the shape of my noggin was somewhat "non-standard". (It's slightly elongated towards the back near the top methinks. Ya know, odd.)
So the hair could cover that sort of anomaly. Eventually I managed to convince my Dad that all of the other guys at school (except the geeks and nerds) all had longish hair. Dad observed this to be a true statement in both my sets of friends. (I had a foot in both camps, I was a jock and a nerd all at the same time. Why yes, my teen years were rather awkward. Why do you ask?)
So those pictures of my brothers and I are our "official" high school graduation photos. That's me in the middle sporting my 1963 Beatles cut (which my Father still thought scandalously long) and to either side of me my brothers exhibit much longer hair styles. What's up with that? (You may wonder.)
Well, all throughout high school I fought the long hair battles with my Dad. It wasn't an out and out full-blown war, more of an insurgency. Dad would occasionally drag me kicking and screaming to the barbershop for a haircut and then I would let it grow out again. And again. And again. Like I said, an insurgency. I would gain another quarter-inch or so of hair with each go-round, until eventually Dad just got tired of fighting that battle.
The Musician and The Olde Vermonter were allowed to be as shaggy as you please. Dad would protest on rare occasions that his two youngest sons "looked like girls".
But my triumph in the hair insurgency was short lived. I started going bald when I was 19. What a bitter pill!
No more long locks flowing in the breeze. No more shaggy dog look. (Well, I was drifting away from that look anyway. An ex-girlfriend's mother once remarked that I looked a lot like Ben Franklin. It wasn't meant to be flattering and I did not take it that way. Why, the very next day I went and got a haircut. Not really short mind you, but something that Dad really approved of.)
So on the way to that Sean Connery look (though without the "handsomeness" which is in it, just the baldness) I was. So really, what the Hell, might as well enlist.
And I did.
Haircuts every two weeks they said, you'll like it they said.
Harrumph! I had (and still have) so little hair topside that I can go a month without a haircut. Saved me a few bucks it did, back in the day.
But nowadays I'll go three months without a haircut. Or until The Missus Herself says "you look like a mad scientist, go get a haircut!" These days I go meekly, no hair left to fight for. And what there is has gone all gray.
Sigh. You win Dad.
I mean, there is a reason I'm usually wearing a hat.