The Last Windrow: Many of us find ourselves in the same hairy situation

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Have you noticed men's and women's haircuts lately? I have and it's disturbing.

There was a time in this fair land when men and women sported neat haircuts provided by accomplished barbers or hair dressers. Folks came out of barbershops and hair salons looking refreshed and ready to tackle the world. They looked at themselves reflected in the mirrors of those establishments and thought they could live another day without anyone noticing that they had a hair out of place.

Not anymore.

Since the "virus" has inundated this land I've noticed a number of uncut men and uncurled women traveling the streets of our community. What was the norm in the "hippy days" of the 1960s has returned and given license to modern humans who now see fit to grow hair where it never grew before, or at least in recent memory. I have more hair on the top of my head than in the past 40 years.

I saw a one-time salesman of mine the other night on TV. He was hawking subscriptions to some fundraiser. When I had known him in the late 1990s, he was well groomed with not a hair sticking out from beneath his ball cap. When I saw him the other night, it took me a time to actually recognize him. His hairdo resembled a jet readying for takeoff as it stuck out two inches on either side of his ears. The image of the Flying Nun ran through my head.


My dad gave us haircuts back in the farm days. All my brothers and myself were destined to sit in that kitchen chair and lend our tousled heads to Dad's hair clippers. Evidently, the money was not available to truck us into town to an actual barbershop. When that clippers revved up behind us we knew we were in for a branding. I doubt that calves being branded would have felt more pain.

It was especially damaging to get our haircuts in the heat of the Iowa summer when temps hovered around 100 degrees and sweat ran down the back of your neck. I think my brothers and I still have scars from the experience. But, we came out clean as a whistle.

My first professional haircut came at the hands of Joe Levins. Joe was in his early 90s and I've written before about how he approached me with a hair razor with his shaking hands. For a minute, I thought that was it for me. I would die at an early age in a barber's chair. But, Joe was gentle and I found him much more comforting than my dad with that clippers in his hand. Joe ended the session by puffing talc on my face and even dabbing a bit of cologne on my cheeks. I smelled like a new rose.

Today we find ourselves with our barbershops and hair salons slowly opening again after being shut down for a number of months. Barbers and stylists are taking appointments and those entering the businesses look like they need a haircut or trim. I'm no different.

My wife has been trimming my locks over the past couple of months. She is very gentle in her shearing and has yet to draw blood. I encourage her to become a little more adventuresome in clipping the curls that form behind my ears and she is gradually felling more hair from my head.

We just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. (Happy anniversary, dear!) Over those years I've trusted her implicitly. I trust her with those hair clippers as well. After all, she has the ability to make me look like a prince or a clown with one fell swoop.

And, I don't dread her approaching me with her clippers unlike I did with Dad and his branding iron. She is much more gentle and doesn't keep yelling at me to keep my head up and sit up straight!

See you next time. Okay? And, be safe!


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