The Ranch Haircut Experience To Remember by Jonathan
This story occurred decades ago sometime in the 1970's. I was 12 years old and was invited to spend the summer at my friend's grandfather's ranch. It was out in the high desert of San Diego California. The two month stay would mean leaving my family, but what fun we'd have.
My friend David had a younger brother named Evan. He was around 10 years old. Years back my friend's grandfather used the ranch for raising cattle. By the 1970's he'd all but retired and enjoyed this ranch's peacefulness way out far from the noise of the city. There were lakes for swimming, boating, and fishing. They had dirt bikes and 22 rifles. I knew I'd get homesick at first buy I couldn't pass it up.
School was out and David and Evan had already been staying at the ranch. This weekend they would be coming to visit David's parents. When they all headed back to the ranch I'd be picked up in the city and driven back with them to stay.
The moment finally came. David's grandparent's massive Cadillac pulled up in front of my house to get me to go to the ranch. I had been reminded what seemed to be a million times by my mom what to do and what not to do. She told me a thousand times to remember to say thank you for everything. Make sure you call twice a week. Brush your teeth and on and on. I loved my mom, but she was making me so nervous now. I was eager to get on my way.
I had a bunch of suit cases on the porch. David's grandfather helped carry them to the immense truck of that Cadillac. There stuff was already at the ranch so my luggage was about all that was in that trunk. My mom started talking to their grandmother. It was like she'd done to me with every detail. On and on she talked. This lady was very polite, but we needed to get a move on.
There was one thing that I couldn't get over. Evan's head was shaved bald! I'd never in my life seen something like this. Kids in the 1970's all had long hair down over the ears. The last time I'd seen Evan he had longish redish brown hair. Now he was bald, except for a slight stubble that remained. I couldn't take my eyes off it. The visible scalp and those ears so exposed. I wanted to say something but didn't. I was taken a back by it, yet so intrigued too. I had an impulse to rub it! I didn't however.
Finally we were on the road and heading to the ranch. No one spoke of Evan's shaved head. He looked so different without hair. I couldn't help but wonder how his head got shaved. I kinda liked it. I was obsessed with this as we drove on the highway and stared out the window of the Cadillac. I couldn't believe David or Evan hadn't even mentioned Evan's bald head. We started to play a license plate number and letter finding game to kill the time.
Finally I couldn't hold back the urge to rub Evan's head. I took my hand and rubbed to top and then one side. It tingled like nothing I'd ever felt! I was so embarrassed I'd done it. Evan just smiled and laughed. This relieved my anxiety of having felt his shorn head. Then to my shock David tells me our grandfather shaved Evan's head at the ranch last week. It gets hot there and the shaved head keeps you cool. I'm shaving it when we get there and you should too Jonathan. What did he say? I was intrigued with Evan's bald head, but get mine shaved too. I suddenly had this intense nervousness like I'd never experienced. Shave all my hair off?
As we drove on towards the ranch nothing more was said about shaving our heads. I knew however once we got there I would likely come up again. We stopped at the last major grocery store before the roads really headed to remote desert. I kept running to idea over and over in my head about becoming bald for the summer. I was aroused by the idea, yet terrified. My slightly wavy black hair was over my ears and just to the middle of my neck. Having it all gone was something I never thought would happen at 12 years old!
One thing that comforted me was we'd all be way out here all summer. No school kids to mock over the bald head. I had made my mind up not to shave my head unless David and Evan bugged me to much about it. A trip to the desert now took a different twist for me. It was like a daring gamble if I'd wind up shaving my head or not. I don't remember ever even having my ears exposed ever. What if these two think they look funny?
Hours on the road went by. We arrived at a remote off ramp. There were few street lights and it was now getting dark. We continued on to a dirt road. The massive Cadillac did it's best to roll over the bumpy surface with ease. At the top of a crest you could see a ranch house down in the valley. There were lights on and they gave a glimpse of the house. The whole place was so out in the middle of no where.
We pulled up to the house and unloaded the groceries and my luggage. I helped carry in things just like my mom had said over and over so many times. I couldn't believe how fast it came up! David asked his grandfather if he could shave his head and Jonathan's now. I had at least thought I'd have until tomorrow to think about it. He had said my name too! Shave Jonathan's head. My heart started to race. I could say no. Now's as good a time as any to cut you kids's hair the grandfather said.
David's grandfather got some old step stool out of the pantry and said let's get these haircuts going. Oh I'm not sure I will shave my head I tell them. Oh Jonathan come on once you do it you'll like it. Well maybe I said. Maybe may well have been a yes. To my shock David tells me to sit on the step ladder and go first. I felt like a brick. I was numb now. In some sort of slow motion I said I can't do it. Evan took his arms around my waist and guided me to sit on the top step of the old step stool.
I sat down and knew somehow there was no turning back now. Take off your shirt Jonathan they said. I sat in denial of what was really about to happen to me. The hair trimmers snapped on giving me a jump. So fast like nothing David's grandfather lifts my long bangs up with one hand. With his other hand he runs the hair trimmers right across the top of my head. I feel the sharp trimmer blades on my scalp. So quick he runs them again and again across the top of my head. I'm really alarmed to see my beautiful black hair falling to the floor.
David and Evan watch for a bit then quickly become bored. They head to the living room. I'm now alone in the kitchen with the grandfather shaving my head. I have doubts and regret this. I feel myself starting to cry as I watch more black hair fall to the floor. I once saw a sheep shorn and it shocked me. I now felt like that sheep. The hair trimmers run around and around my ears. My whole head feels naked now. I don't like this feeling at all. I can tell my ears are sticking out for all to see. Their grandfather shaves my head in silence. I'm shocked at the amount of hair on the floor. I suddenly realize it won't grow back soon!
Almost done he tells me. He runs the hair trimmers one more time over my head. He is real careful and holds down each ear as he cuts close around them. It's done now says the grandfather. Get up!
I get up off the stool and dust away anymore hair left on my pants and stomach. Then I reached up to rub away any loose hair on my head. To my shock I feel for the first time, I have no hair! It feels so alien and strange to me. I want to cry again, but don't. David come here your next the grandfather calls.
I go in with Evan to watch tv. David trades places with me on the stool. It's his turn to get shaved. David and Evan giggle when they see my shaved head. That's it just a quick giggle then the whole trip not one more word. I was so worried about what they'd say. That's it just a giggle? I rubbed my head over and over that night as I watched tv. I was going to get used to being bald. Soon David's head was shaved and their grandfather swept away all our hair. We watched tv. and went to bed. I couldn't get over to feeling of my head without hair on the pillow. It was a haircut I'd never forget.