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Easter memories by Chris


A lot of good memories came back as I was in the barbershop having my head shaved on Saturday, one day before Easter.
The shop was full of guys getting crewcuts, ivy leagues and other short cuts. The crewcut given one kid, though, really brought back memories.
When I was young, the rule in our house for my brothers and I was that we had to have a really short haircut most of the year. While some of our friends got short cuts in the summer, we were well shorn from Easter to Thanksgiving. Now we couldn't have long hair the rest of the the year, but the cuts were far shorter Easter until thanksgiving.
The Saturday before Easter, we would usually be taken to Art's Barber Shop on the Kansas side of the state line of the Kansas City metro area, but if my mom had to have it then it was a walk to Bernard's Barber Shop around the corner from our house. The cuts seemed more severe at Bernard's.
I can still hear my dad giving instructions to the barber: "short on top and whitewalls on the sides."
Sometimes the barber (particularly if you got the young barber who worked with Art) would leave a little to comb on top or at least a bumper in front, other times the top would be completely clipped to a quarter-inch or so. But my dad wasn't real concerned about the top but wouldn't be happy if he couldn't see at least some skin on the sides. He wasn't afraid to order the barber to take more off.
My recollection is that the barbers at Art's would usually give us whitewalls about halfway up the sides and back and the blend it in to some fuzz while the barbers at Bernard's would take the whitewalls all the way to the crown.
The rule was the we had to have our hair cut like that until we were a teenager, when we were allowed to wear our hair as long as we liked as long as we kept it clean and combed.
So I liked it on the Saturday before Easter in 1978, after skipping several trips to the barber, when I was finally allowed to ask Art for a trim of my hair that covered my ears and spilled over the collar in back. I wore it parted down the middle and got it cut so just the very bottom of the ear was exposed and it still hung over the collar.
I kept it like that until the day before Easter in 1982. They were already forecasting a hot summer in Kansas City, and I decided it was time to go back to shorter hair. By then Art's had closed and Bernard's had moved, so I went to another barber in the neighborhood and for the first time since I turned 13 got my hair cut above the ears and off the collar. I even had the barber give it a good thrashing with the thinning shears.
I kept it that way until June 1 of that year, the day after my high school graduation, when I decided I got a crewcut. They weren't popular yet, at least in Kansas City, but my dad was thrilled when I got it. After going through the period when long hair was popular, he didn't think he would ever see the day when one of his sons asked for a crewcut without being ordered to.
I was glad to have it during the really hot summer. That was nearly 30 years ago, and I have never had long hair since. I either got a short ivy league or crewcut before going MBP. Since then, it's been a really short buzzcut or shaved head for me.




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