Bob and I grew up during the hippy years of the mid-1970’s. All the guys wanted to have long hair. Bob’s hair was, by no means, as long as many other guys had, but it was quite a bit longer than he had while he was living at home. Like most parents, he was told to keep it short, while he was living at home. So when he graduated, he moved into his own place, and grew his hair longer…much to the irritation of his mom. I met Bob about 6 months after he had moved out on his own, so his hair was already longer.
Bob and his family had always had a great relationship with their family who lived in Forsyth, Montana, which is where Bob’s family came from. The family would go up there to visit at least once a year, and Bob didn’t change that tradition when he moved out. His uncles weren’t so much older than he was that they really seemed like uncles exactly, so he got along with them very well. After Bob moved out, he would go to Forsyth just to hang out with uncles, and visit his grandma. Eddie, at 11 years older and Butch, at 9 years older were, nevertheless, the older generation. When Bob was 19, Eddie was 30, and Butch was 28. They pretty much sided with Bob’s parents when it came to the length of a man’s hair.
The older generation took great pleasure in teasing Bob about his hair. I’m sure that he heard things like “you look like a girl” or “shaggy dog.” I’m also sure he was repeatedly told to get a hair cut. Of course, like most kids in the hippy generation, those comments had no real effect on him. Nevertheless, I’m sure Eddie got Bob’s attention when he decided to tell Bob, “We can fix that right now!!” Then, he proceeded to attack Bob, or rather, Bob’s hair with an unplugged electric hair trimmer. Eddie would never really cut Bob’s hair, and I’m pretty sure Bob knew that too, but in the moment, maybe he wondered just a little bit, while genuinely hoping that the trimmer wasn’t plugged in.