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Carol Perkins: Who am I to criticize?

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By Carol Perkins

My youngest grandson wears his hair long. At first, I moaned and groaned, "Noah, your hair sure is getting long." Not such a subtle hint. "Noah, you gonna let your hair stay that length?" What was I, the hair police? He likes his hair. He wants it long. What difference does it make? I tell myself that every time I almost say, "But Noah, it would look so much better short." He thinks it looks better long.

Just when I am about to say something critical, I think back to a story Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) once told about his hair. Always known for his flowing mane (his hair and his cigar are now his trademarks), Richard wore his hair like this in high school. By then, he was already playing in a band and spending time at the now famous Practice House.

One day in a certain class where students were sitting at tables and using scissors for a project, the teacher was called out of the room. Richard said, "Some of the boys started rumbling about holding me down and cutting my hair. When they got up enough nerve actually click their scissors, I had had enough of their threats. I threw over my table (heavy wooden one) and jumped across another one-- going after them. It was an uneven number, but when they saw I was mad, they backed off. I would have fought all of them. My hair was my personal possession and they weren't going to take it." (Wonder what they think now that he travels the world slinging it side to side as he performs.)

Richard's hair has done well by him and Fred would not be Fred without his sideburns. Noah is not a musician (other than playing around on his drums). He is an athlete, playing basketball, baseball, soccer, and football if his parents would agree to it. Not long ago, I was watching a professional baseball game and noticed how many of the players wore their hair long. Football players do the same. Ponytails worn by tennis players are not unusual. Even at eleven, he doesn't shy away from being different. That's not a bad thing.

I will not say another word to Noah about his hair just as I don't say anything about his funky and often mismatched socks. I am lucky that he is an independent thinker and sets his own style with parents who allow him to do so. Therefore, I will take the lesson Richard taught me that it is more than hair; it is a part of his person. Who am I to criticize when I have worn my hair every color in the book and every length and often with Guy saying, "What color is that supposed to be!"

Carol's new book Edmonton (1940-2018) is available on Amazon, at the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce and the Lighthouse Restaurant and other places around Edmonton.

This story was posted on 2018-10-04 06:22:40
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Kentucky Headhunters Fred and Richard Young at Wisdom, KY

2018-10-04 - Wisdom, KY - Photo courtesy Carol Perkins.
Metcalfe County's famous Headhunters, Fred and Richard Young, with the new book Edmonton (1940-2018), available on Amazon, at the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, the Lighthouse Restaurant and other places around Edmonton.

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