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It was 1968, the Vietnam War was in full swing and I was inducted. My number had come up and I went to enlist in the Army. I took a physical and then another physical and then some testing to see how smart we were. All of us knew we were going to be infantrymen. I mean God loves the Infantryman, how do I know? Because look at how many of us he made. After an afternoon of tests we were all marched to the clothing store for issue of boots, pants, shirts, underwear, socks and then we went to get our shots. As I looked around the room, we had about 50 guys and some 3 ladies. All the ladies had long hair down to their waist. They were all going to be in the medical corps, they all knew one another, they all went to school together, they had graduated together, then enlisted in the Army Medical Corps together. I asked one of the ladies about having to get her long waist length hair cut? All three looked astonished and said; “We were told we could keep our long hair long, so long as it did not interfere with our training. I said; “OK, how long do you think it will be before your hair does interfere with your training, then what is going too happen?” All three in unison said “Never.” I said; “I’ll bet you all get a short haircut, at least to chin level or maybe even shorter before the eight weeks of training are up.” They all looked at me and said; “Your on.” We were all marched to the barbershop where the Drill Sergeant announced; “Everyone is getting a standard issue 1/16th” crew cut. When it becomes your turn, move to the chair, sit down and get clippered.” One of the ladies said; “Oh Drill Sergeant, we do not have to get our hair cut do we?” The Drill Sergeant walked over to the ladies and said; “No you do not have to cut off your long waist length hippie hair now. But I might take this cut for free, because if you do not, and I find you with your hair down loose or out of place during training, I will have you cut it shorter then the regulations say for a woman to have her hair cut. This cut right now is a freebee, take the challenge, get a haircut, cut off this long waist of hair (AS HE LIFTED THE HAIR UP WITH HIS HAND) hanging down to you ass now, or pay when I cut your long hippie hair, personally cut by me, in the barracks, in front of everyone, THEN POSTED ON THE WALL OF BRAIDS IN THE UNIT DAYROOM. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME TRAINEE. THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO GET A NICE BOB CHIN LEVEL ABOVE SHOULDERS HAIRCUT THAT YOU CAN CONTROL DURING YOUR EIGHT WEEKS OF TRAINING, OR YOU CAN GET A NICE SHORT PIXIE CUT NOW, OR I WILL GIVE YOU A 1″ IN CREWCUT LATER WHEN YOU HAVE THAT HAIR FALL OUT OF PLACE DURING YOUR EIGHT WEEKS OF TRAINING. THINK OF IT, YOUR WAIST LENGTH BRAID ON MY BRAID COLLECTION WALL IN THE UNIT DAYROOM. THE CHOICE IS YOURS, NOW OR LATER LADIES.”

I thought about what the Drill Sergeant had said, we would be getting to watch them all get their hair cut short. Then I thought about my haircut. From a Beattles hair cut, that was at neck length, very thick hair, about 3-4″ in length, going to be reduced to a 1/16th in stubble cut. I thought about 8 years earlier and my first crew cut. I was looking forward to getting my new crew cut now. I went back into time and visioned my first crewcut. All of my long hair was going to be buzzed off in a matter of seconds, just like it was in 1960. We stood in line and watched as the barbers made quick there haircuts. I watched as the first guy with shoulder length hair was seated and clippers run right down the middle of his head. A 2″ path of stubble was showing and that was quickly reduced to stubble in 8 more passes the barber whipped off the cape and called next. I watched as there were 5 barbers working in unison like a precision machine. All cuts done the same right down the middle and eight passes later another near bald stubbles head stepped down, a whipping of the cape and a calling for next. I being the gentleman I was, let the three ladies go ahead of me by about 8 people so I could watch all three of them getting a short haircut.

Finally the first young lady Kathy, who had Blonde hair stepped up to the chair and sat down. The barber asked; “What will it be Mam.” Kathy looked at the barber and said; “A chin length bob cut please.” The barber got his clippers ready. Then he combed out Kathy’s long waist length Blonde hair for the last time. The barber then raised the clippers to Kathy’s left side at chin level and turned the clippers on. Kathy jumped and looked right at the barber, the barber said;” Don’t be jumping around or I’ll mess this up ok lady?” Kathy nodded yes and the barber inverted the clippers, then pushed the clippers into the hair at chin length. Down rained a 3″ section of long hair to the floor. Kathy yelled; “OH SHIT, OH SHIT, THERE GOES FOUR YEARS OF GROWTH.”” The barber was unfazed as he proceeded around Kathy’s head cutting away 3″ sections of hair to hit the cape and the floor. I watched in total awe and amazement as the clippers severed the hair so nice and neatly at chin length. Then watched as the severed locks fell away and cascaded to the floor below. Margaret was the second girl and another barber called “NEXT”, Margaret froze in place and started to tremble. She walked toward the barber chair and looked liked “Dead Man Walking”, to the execution chambers. Margaret was shaking so badly she needed help to get into the chair. Once seated Margaret was asked what kind of style she wanted. Margaret replied; “I use to wear a pixie cut as a young girl.” The barber said; ” How short of a pixie cut do you want this hair cut too?” as he lifted the mass of long luxuriant brown hair out from under the cape. Margaret said; “Are there more then one pixie cut lengths?” The barber replied; “Why yes there are: there is a cut off the length over the ears and block cut the back, then there is the same but tapering the back and sides to about an inch in length, then there is a 1″ clipper cut all over one length, so what will it be young lady?” Margaret was in a stupor as she sat and thought about her long hair about to be cut off. Margaret picked up her hair laying across her lap and stroked it the Margaret looked at everyone and said; ” If I am going to cut it, make it worth while, cut it to a 1″ over all cut please.” The barber put a big red comb like attachment onto the clippers, then popped them to life as Margaret watched in ultra horror as the clippers were brought to her forehead and the barber ran the clippers right down the middle of Margaret’s hair. Hair was falling everywhere as the barber ruthlessly made a second and a third pass. Margaret was holding on to the chair like it was ready for take off and kept saying; “Oh God my long beautiful brown hair, all my long hair, Oh my God, God Oh Lord.” Hair was flying and hitting the floor and starting to pile up as each strand of 38″ floated downward lying coiled on the floor. Each pass brought another chunk of hair. About half way through, the right side of Margaret’s hair was completely cut to 1″ in length, while the other side still had hair to the back of the chair and spread down the cape in front of Margaret. Margaret was about to cry but bravely held back the tears in front of all who were watching this amazing event unfold. How odd to see this picture the old and the new, the long and the short of it. About now a third barber called out and Deborah went forward to meet her demise. Deborah had long red curly hair that curled all the way down her back down beyond her butt almost to her thighs. As Deborah was seated and being caped, Kathy was finished and was being uncapped. Margaret’s hair had been cut all except for the left side and that was about to go, the last vestige of Margaret’s long hair, the barber made a pass at the left nape side and up he drove the clipper, hair was being cut at a very fast rate, severed and floating downward to the floor, plopping to the ground. Three passes over the ears, inner side to ear right and high up onto the center of the head, then the last cut to be made the side burns and up. The clippers made short work of transforming Margaret’s hair
from long to short, the clippers showed no mercy to length as they mowed down Margaret’s hair to a perfect 1″ cut. Margaret was now done, the last piece of long hair floated to the floor after rolling down the cape. Margaret watched as her hair was now lying all around her. Then the barber said; “Now I will go over it all again just to make it all even and he ran the clippers up over around and down three times over Margaret’s head. Margaret’s hair was now a one inch even cut all over. Both girls were completed in what seemed like five minutes, but to watch it unfold it seemed like an eternity of watching long hair being cut away and falling to the floor. Both looked so sexy without all that long hair hanging down their backs. Now it was time too see Deborah loose her locks. The barber did not have too ask what hair style Deborah wanted, she already knew and told the barber; “Lets give everyone a thrill, cut it all down to about 5/8 of an inch, then the Drill Sergeant will not be able to hassle me about my hair anymore.” The barber nodded his head and said; “Your call lady, your hair, your wish is about to become reality.” He said as he put a blue attachment on to the clippers. Then he popped the clippers to life, Deborah froze in place, her hands locked to the chair, her neck was showing her veins popping up from under the skin as she anticipated the first cut to be made. Deborah sat rigid in the chair as the first cut was about to be made, but unlike Margaret’s haircut right down the middle, this barber lifted the back of Deborah’s hair up, and out over his left arm, then with his right hand and clippers he proceeded to push Deborah’s head downward till her chin touched her chest, he then thrust the clippers into Deborah’s nape. Straight up the backside he pushed as the clippers relentlessly reduced what ever was in it’s path to the desired attachment length. 5/8 of an inch was almost a crew cut but it was just a hair longer. A nice three-inch path was made but no hair fell downward. The barber ran the clippers straight up the back of Deborah’s nape again and again, still no hair was falling. After Deborah’s nape hair was severed, it all laid across the barbers arm, the barber with one swift motion of moving the left hand upward to a 90 degree angle, all of a sudden released all the severed hair to the floor enmass it plummeted to the floor with a loud plop. Deborah yelled; “Oh fuck, oh shit, what have I done now, all my long beautiful red hair, my long hair, gone, in a second five years of growth gone.” It seemed like no time had gone bye and I then heard ” Next” and looked around it was my turn to be clipped. I walked past Deborah and said; “I told ya so.” Deborah looked at me and said; “Ok, you win, but I win also, my hair will be longer then the 1/16th inch cut your going to get.” I looked at Deborah, Margaret and Kathy, all their long waist length hair was gone and their stood three beautiful women. What was funny was they stayed behind to watch me get my haircut short. The barber capped me up and popped the clippers on; I was looking for where the attack on my hair was going to come from. All of the girls said; “Oh Mr. Barber, the Drill Sergeant said to do his at a 1/32nd buzz. Make sure he gets it cut off to a 1/32 cut.” The barber nodded, and changed blades to a 0000. The barber then came around to my right side; the clipper had the smallest silver blades I had ever seen on clippers before. He raised the clippers to my forehead, then quick as lightning, right down the middle like and airplane landing. I looked at the three women; they were intent on watching all my hair hit the floor now. My hair was being buzzed to an almost bald cut. There was a little sand paper stubble left and a big bald spot on top with hair hanging over the sides. Kathy said; “Now we know how you will look when you loose your hair in 30 years ” The barber laughed, most of the shop laughed, I just looked at myself in the mirror and laughed, I could not do anything else. I sat still as the barber made quick work out of educing my long hair to a sand paper grit cut. I had enjoyed having long hair, but now I was enjoying it all being reduced to stubble. With the eighth pass, I was done; I got up from the chair and rubbed my head. Kathy, Margaret and Deborah all came over to touch my bald 1/32nd in cut. They all agreed that thy had lost the bet and asked what I wanted. I said; “Nothing, watching all of you get a haircut was more then a guy could ask for.”

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