Of Hairy Facedness

It was Phil’s fault, really. We were kids although I didn’t think so then: almost twenty year-olds, working in the same office. He went away on vacation and came back with a beard. Which I thought looked really cool. He soon shaved it off, but when I went away on vacation, I grew one too.

In 1967, Ron and I went to Expo 67 in Montreal for a week before heading for a week of back country camping in Algonquin Park. Of course, neither of us shaved out there in the wild, but he did as soon as we got back to civilization. However, although I did shape it quite a bit, I decided to hang onto mine for awhile longer.

That weekend, there was a young peoples gathering from our church. It was a corn roast or some such. Cuppa and I had just begun hanging around together before my holidays, but as soon as she saw the new me, she gave me her unqualified endorsement.

So, it’s Cuppa’s fault.

Here’s what the beard looked like not long afterward, just before I went away to university. In these pictures I was in my silly initiation costume that Cuppa had made for me according to the specifications that I received in the mail.

AC's First Beard

AC's first beard when he was 19 years old in 1967. Wearing his university initiation costume, made by his new friend, Cuppa.

AC's First Beard

Another view

Times were different, especially since we were quite involved with in an evangelical church, so there was a certain amount of tut-tutting by many of the oldsters. However, all of the kids were fine with it as I recall, and the tut-tutting didn’t really faze me.

For a number of years it was on again and off again for various whims or reasons. For example: I decided that I should be married beardless, and I also shaved it off when I was in teachers college and looking for a job. However, I had it when Thesha was born and until she was a few years old . She was a year old in the following three photos.

AC and Thesha Birthday 1973

AC and Thesha on his first birthday, 1973. This was probably my third or fourth beard.

Cuppa and Thesha Birthday 1973

No beards here but it was on the same page of the photo album, so, what the heck. Cuppa and Thesha on her first birthday, 1973.

Thesha and Dad

AC with Thesha at Grandma's house, Christmas 1973

Thesha was about three or four years old when I decided to shave it off again. The first time she saw me, she drew back in alarm, and it took her a few days to warm up to dear old dad once again. So, when I got around to growing it again, I figured I’d better keep it for the long haul. And a long haul it was, for I kept it for about twenty-five years. The next photo was taken during that time period, but earlier in the period rather than later.

Cuppa and AC 1980

Still bearded in 1980. Although it changed its configuration somewhat from time to time, I had this one for about twenty-five years.

Ten years ago, I had the urge to become re-acquainted with my face, so I shaved it off the night before Cuppa and I headed off in the car across much of Canada. She was shocked to wake up on the morning of our trip and find a clean shaven stranger in the house. I had thought I had given enough hints of what I was going to do, but apparently my hints were too vague.

Having seen enough of my face , I grew it back once again after a few months and continued to sport it until Thesha’s wedding four years later. By this point, it was covering a lot more face than the initial beard back in 1967 when I didn’t even retain the moustache  … or even a mustache. However, I remained somewhat weary of tending to it by keeping it shaped and trimmed, so I decided to reduce it.

Cuppa and AC

My last full beard in 2004 just before I reduced it to a goatee

Not wishing to revert to the bare face, however, I chose to pare it down to a goatee. I’ve been fairly happy with that look and thought I’d never grow a fuller beard again.

Nikki Dee and Buppa

The reduced beard as it has been since around mid 2004.

But just lately, after more than six years without the fuller beard, I got to pondering once again. How much gray had crept into my beard, I wondered. Eventually, I had to find out. I’m still in the process of finding out because it’s not in fully yet, but after a month, I can pretty well tell that for some strange reason, I still have more dark that gray. I find this weird because various friends of mine had beards which they shaved around the age of forty because their beards became very gray even when their hair hadn’t. Genetics is a strange thing, for my hair remains mostly dark on both my head and face or so it appears at this point. Of course, I’ll know better in a few more weeks.

The Beard is Back

The newest rendition of the beard that refuses to die. It's a somewhat fuzzy picture, but I guess that kind of suits my fuzzy face.

I have placed a condition on this variation of the beard, however. If you look at the sequence of pictures, you’ll notice that I always attempted to shape my beard (although it was getting fairly full at the end — in 2004). I was seldom terribly ecstatic with the results, but I always tried. Now, I vow to either like it the way that it grows, or I will, once again, trim it back to goatee proportions. That doesn’t mean I won’t do a thing to it. No, I’ll keep it off my neck, and I have already trimmed back the outliers that grow beyond the real beard line up towards the eyes. I will not, however, give myself endless headaches about shaping, for I now choose to go with a more or less a full and unshaped beard. That doesn’t mean, however, that I intend for it to be inordinately long or scruffy, for I do intend keep the thing in check. It’s my preference.

It also doesn’t mean that I’ll never change my mind. 🙂

So … how long this iteration of the hairy-faced AC will remain extant is unknowable at this point. However, I am committed to letting it thicken before I decide, and I also vow to keep it until Christmas: at least until Christmas.

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15 Responses to Of Hairy Facedness

  1. Hummmmm…well, I’ve only Ever known you with the said, goatee. But…full is nice as well!
    hughugs

  2. KGMom says:

    Geez–and they say women have a hard time making up their minds. (tee hee).
    It is interesting what makes men decide for or against beards. Of course, over time, fashions for facial hair have come and gone and come again. Look at the U.S. presidential portraits, and you can get a quick overview of the facial hair fashion of the day.

  3. ~sWaMpY~ says:

    TheHansMan had a beard at one time, and I loved it…Now, he’s just bald. Love the photo of the ‘babychild’ on the stump. What a story that photo tells.
    Happy Holly Daze.

  4. Pearl says:

    I like the sort of time lapse glances thru your beard and not. yes, I could see how waking up to a clean-shaven man would be a bit of a startle, hints or not.

  5. Hilary says:

    The evolution of a beard. I guess like many other things.. it’s a process. One that suits you.

  6. QMM says:

    Well if you like the feel of hair then you need the hair on the face and chin. LOL Get it. I am assuming you appreciate a humorous attempt. Your photos are excellent and Cuppa is beautiful.
    QMM

  7. Mary says:

    AC, I like the full beard you had in 2004. I don’t mind a beard if it’s kept tidy, but hate when they grow out of control. These photos show that you’ve always maintained yours. Keep on doing what makes you happy. Life is too short to do otherwise.

    Blessings,
    Mary

  8. Mary says:

    You’re handsome with or without the full beard!

  9. Diana says:

    I think that the beard suits you either way that you have it trimmed. It just doesn’t work for some. But very good looking on you AC. But I’m sorry I had to laugh at that initiation costume!!! But the beard looked good!! Love Di ♥

  10. garnetrose26 says:

    Some men look good in a beard. You are one that does. You look better without the comb over too. *s*

  11. Bernie says:

    Some men can wear a beard and look really good with it others don’t look good with one at all, you my friend look good, the beard suits you. Love your photos and thought Cuppa’s photos were lovely…..:-)Hugs

  12. D3 says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t grow a moustache for movember!!! Either way, glad you get to enjoy the hairy privileges of being a man. I’ll spare you the details on the time, money, and excruciating pain I’ve spent on trying to get rid of my beautiful natural goatee that I started growing at 13 years old. I didn’t get as many compliments as you, however I continue to take great pleasure out of creating masterpieces (mistresspieces?) from the great hair on my head, so I guess we’re even! (did you see the new haircut I gave myself? I posted a pic on fb?)

  13. June Kellum says:

    AC,

    I enjoyed reading all this -and the pictures!

    Personally, I always prefer beards to bare faces! 🙂

    Junie

  14. PipeTobacco says:

    Hello Sir!

    Like you, I allowed my beard to grow for the first time when I was 19. Unlike you, however, I have worn a full beard and moustache ever since. Neither my wife nor my kids have ever seen me without a beard and moustache. My college friend and I decided to try growing ours during the Summer before our junior year. He shaved his off before Fall started… I kept it.

    Of course, like you, I do not want to look like a Sasquatch, so I have always kept my beard and moustache neatly trimmed (dare I say that I kept it “profesorially” trimmed even before I *was* a professor).

    Sincerely,

    PipeTobacco
    http://frumpyprofessor.blogspot.com

  15. Mara says:

    I love that first beard, it reminds me somewhat of one of the seven dwarfs (sorry).

    I am not usually one for beards and/or moustaches, but I think your goatee and even your beard suits you (altough I prefer the goatee). However, if you ever find that you get bored with the beard as is, you can always do what I saw a while ago: just a little vertical strip underneath the mouth!

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