I have something I haven’t had since I was in my early 20s. In fact, one of my favorite pictures taken in 1980 with my sister exposes it very well.
No, it’s not another tattoo. I don’t even have a tattoo. Not that I have anything against them … other than my aversion to infection, staph, hepatitis B and C, and oh yeah – needles. I’m a real scaredy-cat when it comes to needles.
Our church is presenting “The Living Last Supper” during Holy Week, and I am playing Simon Peter. Most guys had beards back then. I played this character a few years ago when we last presented this musical drama. However, I could not bring myself to grow a beard in order to look more the part.
This time, I figured I’d give it a shot. After three itchy-scratchy weeks, I now have a beard. Only this time, it has an unsettling color: gray. The last time I had a beard it was red. I guess Father Time takes care of all that.
Beards are making a big comeback. Last baseball season, the World Series champion Boston Red Sox sported beards galore. In fact, the World Series was touted as the “battle of the beards.” There was more facial hair on the field than grass. And what about our friends from the popular show “Duck Dynasty?” Those beards have their own zip code.
Speaking of zip codes, the other day I ran into a friend at the post office, and she didn’t even recognize me. Hey, maybe this beard thing could come in handy.
So what makes a beard so fantastic? Some people say a beard makes a guy look more handsome. I will reference Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and George Clooney. Need I say more?
Some workplaces do not allow beards because, according to the “company,” a beard makes a person look less trustworthy. Didn’t Honest Abe have a beard? Jesus had a beard — I trust him.
I have read that before razors were invented, men who did not want facial hair either plucked them out with seashells or bone tweezers, or scrubbed them off with a rough stone. Yikes. I’m glad that never caught on.
Many famous people had beards. Pavarotti had a beard. So did Sophocles, Shakespeare and Hemmingway. Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Colonel Sanders had a “kind-of” beard — it was more like a runway of hair on his chin. Yosemite Sam had a great beard. Could you imagine any of these guys without facial hair?
C. Everett Koop, the surgeon general during President Reagan’s administration, probably was more well-known for his beard than anything else. In 1982, my father grew a beard similar to Dr. Koop’s, and we used to get stopped by people all the time asking if he was the famous surgeon.
I guess the big question is, will I shave once the play is over? My guess is if I ever want to kiss my wife again, the answer will be yes. On the other hand, if my baseball team is in first place at Easter, there’s a good chance I may have to keep it. Sorry, Honey, but my team needs all the help it can get.
DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange. Call him at 912-531-7867 or go to thesuitesatstationexchange.com.