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1975 revisited by short back and sides boy
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It was 1975. Boys were still wearing their hair very long at school. I had my hair 6 inches below the collar-thick,scraggly, and with knots in it too. What a disgrace i thought to myself but i had to save face around my peers.
I was 18 and was repeating form 6 (final year).
We had a new headmaster after 4 years of radical "lefties" education- a total turn around. The headmaster's name was Jack S...He was a former major in the army, having served in world war 2 and then in charge of draftees during the Vietnam War- all the things i was repulsed by at the time with my attitude.
I secretly wanted a short back and sides like i had had when i was in primary school. But it was 1975,
we had just started back in the new school year.it was a hot february day (i live in australia),and so my hair was an absolute nightmare- getting into my eyes ,causing them irritation ,not to mention the sweatiness in the heat . we had had three days in a row over 40 degrees (celsius = 103 farenheit).
The new headmaster grabbed me by the collar as i was heading into class , yelling," what's your name boy?" i replied "Elliott ,Sir ." He grabbed my hair and ordered me to have a short back and sides by tomorrow.
I shuffled off my white uniform shirt hanging out the back of my pants. i was a mess. Well. i know had no excuse . I went looking for eduardo my old barber in a back street near my local shops. He was no longer there.....
The following Friday morning i was again walking into class , when the new head grabbed me once again and sent me to his office.
There were 6 other guys my age, also sporting unruly and unkempt haircuts of the times. what a sight we were!!!!I knew i was in for it. we were all lined up outside the office-lambs ready for the slaughter.
Jack stood in front of us and told me to fetch his strap, which was sitting on the desk in his office. I entered and saw this strap- it was black, heavy and had double stitching . it would have to have been about 2 feet in length. I picked it up and knew what was coming.
on returning he said you all know why you are here...."Hold out your hand, elliot."At that he grabbed my right hand and pulled it hard towards him . My hand outstretched and the fingers splayed outward. The strap came down hard on my right hand and then my left hand - 4 times on each hand. The merciless sting ripped throughout both hands and it was over. He repeated for all six boys.
After that he ordered us to Eduardos. (that's interesting i thought through my tears i was trying to hold back )Eduardo will give you all short back and sidesthen you will return for further inspection. You are all joining the school cadets!!!(I could not believe it - we had fought so hard to get rid of them and now they were going to stay )
I returned the strap to his office and joined the others in eduardo's barbershop.
The headnaster had hired out one of the old unused lockers rooms to eduardo to turn into into a barbershop on campus, unbeknown to any of us- so that is what happened to him .
Although my hands were still aching i secretly longed for the old fashionerd cape to be tightly fastened around my neck and having my hair shorn .I remember the aromas in his shop,the arousing senses from his old spice concoction ,which was evident as you walked into his shop, and which he would douse you in following the clippering. The senses were alive in his shop, the aromas of old spice, the sound of the snipping and eventual clippering of the hair ; And the sight of the old fashioned cape tied securely around the customer's neck, almost too tightly ,and the taper neatly tucked in around the neck of the cape to secure it even more. The capes were those old fashioned striped ones he had, not unlike the old striped flannelette pyjamas we used to wear except they were made of satin . They often had smouldering stains where customers had dropped their ashes from smoking . In addition the capes contained the aromas of the old spices having been caught in ther material from years of servicing . The capes were the same ones he had had in his shop frpm before. What an assault on the senses and not those boring black capes those dreadful trendy salons have these days.
I entered the barbershop. Eduardo did not recognise me.There was fear and trepidation but also the anticipation. The first Five were sitting waiting on those old fashioned barber benches ,whilst the first boy was caped up just as i described , with the cape tightly round his neck .
My hands were still writhing in pain ,but the distraction of Eduardo's barbershop at my school , and i was off in another world of anticipation!!!
part 2 coming soon