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Coda: Conversations Dec 1979 Pt 4 by Archon 2
Author's note: Sorry for going over some of the same material, but I hope it's still entertaining. Hopefully I've tied up a lot of loose ends.
"Well, what? Asked Steve, who didn't wait for an answer but instead announced that "I am not giving up my ‘Stevie Shoe' so that you two can give me who knows what kind of silly haircuts, and then take pictures to give to the features editor of the school newspaper. I'm perfectly fine with my feature in the current issue.”
"Yeah,” began Dave, "the picture of you lifting the beanie off my head with one hand, and a razor in the other was just perfect, Steve.”
Upon hearing that, Mike turned to Steve and asked, "Picture of you in the paper? I didn't see that.”
"It's in the back, as part of a supplement, along with the update of Dave with his high and tight flat top haircut,” explained Steve, who then continued "you should check it out. The caption reads "Steve Somers shows us his barbering skills. Note: Steve wears his signature ‘Stevie Crew' in this picture. I didn't make the update picture, only Dave, who didn't give me credit for his ‘Stevie Shoe.'”
Now clearly amused and in the mood to get some fun at Steve's expense, Mike grabbed Steve in a headlock and proposed that he and Dave "have some fun with Steve.” Maybe a ‘friar tuck' fringe haircut, or better yet, since his hair on the top had grown to about three quarters of an inch or so, they could give him a short Mohawk or a Mohican—two parallel rows of hair instead of one, with everything else shaved. As Steve squirmed a little in Mike's arms, Dave suggested that they use the straight razor on him, and give him a few ‘tram lines' that Dave had told them he had heard about; 3 or more straight lines about 2 inches long down one side of his head, or maybe they should just cut bald
circles randomly on his scalp so that he could tell everyone that Steve was given electro-convulsive therapy. But Mike let him escape from his headlock at that point so that Mike could look him in the eye and announce that they were "all good suggestions, so Steve, if you want to hang out with us from now on, you'll have to choose one. And I'm going to send in a photo to the school newspaper editor with the real story.”
Not quite sure if Mike was kidding, and not wanting to possibly actually upset his two best friends, Steve, with a resigned look said, "Ok, Mike, I get it, I need to stop with the ‘Stevie Crew' and ‘Stevie Shoe;' and if you want to make me look silly—actually sillier than I do now, let me know, I can…”
Mike and Dave, no longer able to keep from laughing, burst out at that moment, which was a relief to Steve, who then said in an annoyed tone "Ok you idiots, you had me. And just for that I might not let you shave my head!”
"Relax,” said Dave, and "we're not really to fed up with the Stevie Crew and Shoe routine, but you can stop it as you've got your photo of the ‘Stevie Crew' in the school newspaper, and a picture of the ‘Stevie Shoe' in the city paper. You've gone down in history.”
"Remind me to look at the paper again, Dave,” said Mike as he prepared himself to have his head shaved. As he sat down to take off his shirt, Steve snapped the towel and then shook out "Dave's hair dust,” and wrapped it around Mike's shoulders, before tying it into a not at the corner, pronouncing the "scarf really looks good on you.”
"Oh yeah, it sure does,” said Dave as he pushed Steve out of the way. "Why don't you go and read the city newspaper again, that should keep you quiet while I shave Mike's head.”
Steve thought that was a good idea, so he went off into the house looking for a copy as he announced "Nothing better than reading about myself!”
Both brothers laughed at Steve, and Mike commented that "You know, for all of Steve's faults, he's actually a good guy to have around. Do you think he'll look good with his head shaved?
"I think,” said Dave, "that just like us, he seems to look good with any haircut.” That's actually what the update said in the school newspaper; well, at least about me as I was the only one in the picture. Something like "As promised, David G. gets a High-n-Tight Flattop haircut. Not only was it his choice to get a high-n-tight flattop, but he also opted for a more extreme version, the High-n-tight Horseshoe Flattop. Is it this reporter only that thinks he looks great with every haircut that he has? Or maybe just short ‘military' haircuts. Let's see if he gets to grow it out longer, so we can make a comparison in the future.”
"Well no wonder why Steve is upset that you didn't correct the editor and tell her that you chose a ‘Stevie Shoe.'”
"Did someone say ‘Stevie Shoe?'” asked Steve as he came back with the city newspaper and sat down to read it again. Then he looked at Dave, and noticed that Dave looked somewhat unsure of where to start, when it dawned on him the Dave had "never shaved anyone's head all by yourself, have you Dave?”
Sheepishly, Dave responded that "You're right…the only other time was when I helped shave Mike's head after you shaved my head, Steve. Remember, it was that Monday that Mike first shaved my head, and then we were here in the back yard, right after school. I let you shave my head again, and then Mile let us all shave his head afterwards. But you and Matt did all the work, and I really just watched. Then afterwards, Mike grew out his hair to a high and tight…so now, this is the first time for me!”
"I guess you want me to do it then, Mike?” asked Steve.
"You've had enough fun, Steve. Let's let Dave try, and you can watch him so that he doesn't make any mistakes,” answered Mike, who then gave his vote of confidence to his little brother by sitting up straight in his chair and asking him to "take it all off, buddy.”
As Dave began to use the 5-zero clipper blade on Mike's head, Steve was just about to caution him before Mike yelped "ouch, you don't have to dig in with the clippers!” All of the boys laughed, because now they had each done it to each other. For some reason, all of them thought that the harder you press the clippers to the scalp, the closer they would cut the hair. All it left was a red rash, though…and an unhappy client.
"Sorry,” replied Dave, who then gingerly went back to shaving the top down, and the sides, working carefully up from the hairline. He actually did a pretty good job the first time, so Steve sat down and began to find he city newspaper article. "When you're done with the clippers, use the shaver a couple of times, then rub in some oil to soften the skin and make it easier to shave his head” advised Steve as he looked up from the newspaper.
"Go back to your article, I can take care of this Steve,” replied Dave, who was actually now doing a pretty good job.
Mike also chimed in with "Remember you're next, Steve, so don't read it too quickly, since you want to be photographed reading the paper while you get your head shaved.”
Steve had to think for a moment before he remembered that he had indeed wanted a picture of himself being shaved while reading a newspaper, so he acknowledged Mike's comment with "Yeah, thanks for reminding me. Too bad I can't have a newspaper printed with the headlines ‘The Stevie Shoe is replaced by the Stevie Do.' You get it, the ‘Stevie Do is the cool name for a shaved head.”
"WE GET IT,” both brothers said in unison.
"ALRIGHT” answered Steve, who then read the article out loud:
[HIGH AND TIGHTS GO CIVILIAN]
[We live in a great area, here on the Monterey Coastline, home to historic Cannery Row and tourist favorite Fisherman's Wharf. So we're used to exotic smells coming from the many restaurants and sidewalk cafes which are frequented by tourists from all of the world. They come to soak in the atmosphere, admire the stunning views and to board a whale watching boat from the piers. Locals like to come here was well, not only to work, but to also take some time to enjoy it all.
[The wharf also attracts soldiers who come to study and the Presidio of Monterey, home of the Defense Language Institute, and the Naval Post-Graduate School is only a couple of miles away. Most come to those Defense Department schools from all corners of the United States, and some are locals who were lucky to come back to their family homes to study at these world class institutions.]
[Most of them are easy to spot, as they run or jog in their sweats that are clearly logoed with whichever branch of the services that they're in. Some come in their uniforms, and most male soldiers are easily identifiable by their signature short haircuts. Marines stand out the most, with their "High-n-tight' haircuts where the sides and back are usually shaved up to the very top, which is itself usually no more than an inch long. And then there's variations like the High-n-tight flattop or even more severe "Horseshoe Flattop' which is a sight to be seen. Seen mostly on Marines, that is, until today.]
[When I ran into them, it wasn't so much their haircuts that made them stand out; because, I'm a reporter that covers the wharf, and I've seen plenty of soldiers with High-n-tight haircuts. And all of them had High-n-tight Horseshoe Flattops, fresh from the barbershop. No, what made them interesting was that there were three of them, all young men, though only one looked old enough to be a soldier, and the other two were too old to be the soldier's sons. So I introduced myself at their sidewalk table, and asked them for an interview. Note: I received permission from the parents of Dave Grayson and Steve Somers to use their true names in this article.]
[I asked them first if they were related, which would explain their having the same haircuts, somewhat. ‘Nope,' said Steve, who explained that Mike Grayson (the Marine) and Dave were brothers, and that he was their best friend. Mike then tells me he's studying at the DLI, and in his spare time (which is all too little) he likes to show Dave and Steve around. Mike and Dave also have a younger brother, though he doesn't have a high-n-tight haircut.]
[As I dig into my Crab Louie Salad, I ask them about their haircuts—Mike is in the Marines, so that explains his haircut, but what's the story with the two teens? Dave spoke up immediately, saying that they were given a choice to get a high-n-tight, and since they thought it would be cool to look like Mike and his Marine buddies, they gave it a try. Steve added that as they had just got them cut, it was too early to tell if they would keep them. Plus, he said, to keep them looking sharp they have to be re-cut every week, and he didn't want to spend his allowance on haircuts. "And I don't want to treat them every week,” added Mike.]
[During our conversation, I notice that the two teens seem to be enjoy rubbing the top of their heads, especially the ‘landing strip' which is that part of the top ridge that shows mostly skin when the top is flat. So I ask them what's so special about their haircuts. "It just feels neat, like sandpaper at the middle, and then when you move to the edges the hair gets less stiff” explained Dave. Steve added that ‘because we have lots of wax in our hair now, it's even more fun to rub,' and Mike added that they ‘probably need to wash their hands.”]
[Over dessert, I ask the boys that with their example, would high-n-tights would ‘go civilian' and start to be seen on boys their ages in the near future. "Possibly,” opined Mike, who also commented that high-n-tights can be given in—yep—civilian barbershops, and someone just needs to be the first to get one. Dave didn't think of himself as a trendsetter, so he'd probably scare others off from getting a high-n-tight. Steve opined that what he termed his ‘Stevie Shoe' would set the area on fire, and "we're sure to see many copycats.”]
"What? Steve asked as he turned his attention to the brothers. Dave was just about done with shaving Mike's head. Both of them were now chrome-domed baldies again. It was interesting that all of their heads simply did not tan. Sure, they rubbed in sunscreen and wore beanies a lot, but their heads were exposed just as often to the sun. But not a hint of tan on either's head. Steve wondered if his scalp would remain white. Well, it was almost time to find out, with his first head shave.
"Ok,” he Steve started, as he put down the article, remarking that it seemed ‘boring' this time around, and silly—who would think that anyone else but a Marine would wear a high and tight or horseshoe flattop he thought? But, he told the two brothers, "thank goodness the pictures had him in them so that someone looked good in them, as he was the perfect model for the Stevie Shoe.”
Mike had finished cleaning up after his head shave, and so he asked Steve to ‘take the chair and get ready.” With that, Dave took in the bowl of water to clean out and fill with fresh hot water.
As Dave came back with the fresh bowl of hot water, he announced the he also brought fresh new safety razors, because "Steve was going to have the smoothest and baldest head when they were done!”
"Ready” asked Mike to Steve.
"Yeah, go ahead and do it!” replied Steve, as he too took off his shirt and wrapped the towel around his shoulders expertly. Steve was now genuinely excited, but he was careful to warn Dave not to "nick his head…I don't want to look like you did when you got your first real head shave.”
"I think I owe you three nicks, " replied Dave, who continued with, "but you know what, I like that idea of ‘tram lines' in the side of your head with the straight razor…what do you think?
"Yeah, do it!” replied Steve enthusiastically.
Mike, however, didn't think it was a good idea…and besides, they had to finish so that they could go out shopping to show off their baldies. "No tram lines, and only 3 nicks or less on Steve, OK Dave?”
"Whatever” said Dave, as he began to take off Steve's flattop by positioning the clipper at the front center, and carefully running them towards the back. And then he made the next pass, one after the other. He then gave the clippers to Mike, who quickly took off the hair at the sides and back, then he went over Steve's entire head one more time.
"Picture time” announce Dave, who snapped a Polaroid of Steve's clipper-shaved head so that they could ‘compare it with the baldy,' which was part of their plan to finally show to others that a ‘clipper shave' is not a shaved head. Why did it matter? Who knows, they just wanted to do it. As they were waiting for the picture to develop, Dave applied the baby lotion to Steve's head, working it in well, and then he wrapped Steve's head with a moistened towel.
"It's developed, " mentioned Steve as he showed it to Mike and Dave. "I actually look…well, pretty damn good! Nuts, better not let my dad see it; he was ok with a clipper shave or induction cut, and I don't want to give him any ideas about making me keep the clipper shave.”
"Maybe he'll like the baldie better,” said Mike. "Dave can help you out there.”
"Nope, my dad and mom didn't want me to shave my head bald. But I told them I'd go right back to the Steve Crew, and would work harder at getting better grades. Can you imagine that? Me promising to get good grades so that I could shave my head? I don't know if it's worth all the trouble just to look like you two.”
"Then just keep the clipper shave, Steve,” said Mike matter-of-factly.
"NO WAY!” Steve said emphatically. "Let's get my head lathered up already!”
"Calm down buddy, or you'll get more than 3 nicks on your head,” said Dave, who had quickly applied the shaving gel and had been rubbing it into a think foam that now covered Steve's head. All that was missing was the razor blades being guided over his head by Mike and Dave.
Then Dave and Mike each took a safety razor in their hand as they stood on opposite sides of the chair. They had decided to give Steve a dual shave, so they each put their razor at the Steve's front hairline, though about ½ an inch apart, and made their first swipes straight back, leaving a "Mohawk” of shaving foam down the middle, they then expertly shaved the rest of the top, then worked on the sides. They extended the Mohawk down the back as well as they each shaved their respective sides. Then they gave Steve a hand mirror and a razor, and they watched as Steve took the final razor swipe, cutting away his Mohawk with a few strokes. Then Dave lathered Steve's head again, and the Mike and Dave made short work of the second and final shave.
"Well Steve, no nicks,” Dave said proudly.
Taking the mirror in his hands again, Steve tried to see himself from every angle, bending his head this way and that, as well as rubbing his head all over. "Fantastic, great feeling, damn I'm bald, and wait till my parents see me” gushed out of Steve, who, at least at that moment, really like his baldie! "Let's put a shine on these heads before we take our picture!” he proclaimed.
Dave and Mike's father couldn't help but laugh at the pictures. He couldn't wait till his sons came home from their adventures, to tell them how silly they all were. And hopefully Matt wouldn't get any ideas about shaving his head, as the three older boys had gone to pick him up…and they were all bald! Yep, even their friend Steve, who had mugged for a few pictures at very steps along the way to his being shaved bald. And what a shine on their heads! He had gone out there as Dave was ‘shining' Mike's head with a shoe shine cloth. Well, he felt bad that he had never shown Dave how to properly use a cloth to shine something, so he gave Dave a few lessons and improved his technique immensely. Steve practiced next on Mike, and it showed that had quite a bit of skill since he shined Dave's head often. But, Dave was sure that his father would do the best job, and so he gave the cloth to his father, and said "Sir, if you would please shine my head, I would appreciate it.” Chuckling as he remembered how he tried to do the best job that he could, and how he was overcome with pride when Dave told him he understood how much I cared about how he looked, and thanked him for taking him to the barbershop all those years…and that he promised to continue with wearing short haircuts, and going to the barbershop on regular basis if he gave him the privilege of deciding for himself. Well, what else could he say at that point? "