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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Me And My Hair

Chuck Hinman: Me And My Hair. Chuck reports on his hair and how it was cut. There were no bald men in his family.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - Home, sweet home, circa 1929

By Chuck Hinman

Me And My Hair

I never had a 'store haircut' until I left home and went into military service. Mom did the honors for the male members of our family and "No, she didn't use a bowl as a guide!"

Mom's equipment for Saturday night haircuts

Her equipment was simple -- a hand powered hair clipper and that was it. She used a tea towel to cover our shoulders to keep the hair off our clothes. It was always done in the kitchen, and she did it on all three of us 'MEN' after Saturday evening supper so we would look decent at church the next day.

Many times she caused us to yell out in pain when the clippers needed oiling and pulled our hair. Even Dad yelled, only much louder.

There were no bald men in our family. Our genes destined us for a full head of hair. The drains in our house were never plugged with male hair. We didn't lose hair.

Crew cuts, flat-tops, and bowl haircuts

The all-time hair fad for me has been the crew or flat-top haircut. I have had my share of both of those. My first haircut, other than from Mom came when I entered military service in 1942. I grew to like a crew cut and sported one, or its kin, the flat-top, many years after I was out of service.

After we had a son, Paul, I cut his hair until he got old enough to notice he was the only boy at school with a 'bowl haircut.'

Here is a hair story born out of my college days.

Putting the block of curls in front

A friend invited me to spend the week-end at his home. His Dad was a barber and his Mom operated a beauty shop. At Friday night supper she ran her hands through my thick head of hair and said she would like to put a block of curls in the front. I understood her to mean that if I didn't like it, I could comb it out.

I bought the idea and the next morning she did it. I was shocked but vain enough, I loved it! I was only mildly concerned (probably because of Dad) when I found it was permanent or until 'death do us part.'

Chuck thinks he is 'cute' but his Dad disagrees

I was practice teaching at the Junior High School in Peru, Nebraska. I had an 8th grade class of math students. One of the cute-girl students told me "I was cute" which agreed with my assessment.

The next weekend I went home and I walked in the milk barn and my Dad sized me up. He didn't think I was cute AT ALL! He had a ring-tailed fit!

The curls are gone and Chuck is ever after 'uncute'

He said that as soon as Andrew's barber shop opened the next morning, he wanted me to be first in line to get those "blankety-blank curly-locks" cut off, barking he wasn't going to have one of his sons looking like a girl!

I knew better than to argue with him. The next morning, the curls were gone and I have been 'uncute' ever since.

Wondering about curls again at 89 years old

Sitting in my recliner recently, I mused -- Dad's been gone for forty years and the 'chicks' here at Tallgrass Estates have never seen this 89 year old 'dude' with curls. I wonder how they would look on grayish-white hair. I think I'll ask Debbie (my barber) what she thinks. Hmmm.

Written by Chuck Hinman. Emailed Thursday, 24 September 2009 with minor revisions from an email Friday, 19 August 2011.

This story was posted on 2014-04-27 08:48:22
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