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The summer of 74 by Mark Demarlo


​I was 16 in 1972 a good looking kid with long dark brown (raven) hair. This was the style in most of the major cities of the US back then. It was summertime and I was having a blast. That is until my dad told me I would be spending the next six months with his brother in rural North Carolina. My uncle Stan was of all things a barber, he owned and operated Stanly's Barber Shop. Making maters worse for me is that he hated long hair. The last time I had seen him my hair was just growing over my ears and he was bugging my dad to let him cut it Proper.

I pleaded with my dad to let me stay with someone else, but to no good. I even begged him to not let him cut my hair, that too was a losing argument. My dad said he not only would let him cut it but he was going to ask him to get rid of the long hair. I was devastated, and my dad would hear no more of it. I was going to have to get my hair cut in North Carolina by my uncle Stan.

The day we arrived at my uncle Stan's house it was the first thing out of his mouth. He told my dad if I was going to stay with him the long hair had to go. He is going to be a clean-cut young man so long as he is in my house. My dad agreed, and even said the change is welcome.

The next morning I was taken by my uncle with him to open his shop which was in walking distance from his house. There was a sign in the window that said Crew Cuts, Flattops, Expert Military Cuts. Inside there were several recruiting type posters for the military.

Uncle Stan told me to have a seat in his barber chair and so I did. He caped me fastening a neck strip tightly around my neck. He told me I was going to look like a young man that is under control. We will maintain a short haircut which tells people you are under control. None of this hippy long hair or the sloppy hippy looking clothes. Boot cut jeans cowboy boots, a button down collar shirt and a tie. Snip, snip, snip, with quick moving shears he snipped off the length of my hair in a matter of seconds. It was up above my ears and off my collar. But this was only the beginning. Then the clippers fired up and from my right temple he clipped it to the skin all the way up, over and over around my head. Up the back and over the crown. Then another clipper he clipped it even tighter the same all over again only not quite as high. Again one more time with clippers that cut it even closer around my ears and tapering it so very nice and clean. The top was reduced to less than two inches in the very front and a quarter inch at the crown. Then he put a wax into it combed it straight up and made it semi flat on the top. Your going to be well groomed with a fresh haircut. Once a week he said, cut fresh. So you always look as if you just left the barbershop. I now had a crewcut that was flattened off on the top. This haircut was to become the norm for me for the next six months. Once a week he gave me a close fresh cut like this. I started to like it




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