Who am I, anyhow?

This Universal Question of Personal Identity bothered me a good bit when I was a teenager. I thought the crisis would be solved when I grew up. However, it has painfully resurfaced since I made the foolish vow to swear off haircuts until I returned home from the “Great Alaska Trek into the Wilderness for the Summer”.

At first, the hair was my calendar, reminding me each morning about the rapid passing of time in The Last Frontier. Also, it seemed fitting and went well with the bear spray on my belt, the new, defining, Alaska Rubber Boots, and my cool cowboy hat that still smelled like Tourist Gift Store. Somehow, though, it gradually got out of hand.

I first noticed the symptoms in the early morning when I was carefully selected my outfit and hat for the day. It was taking too much time to decide on the daily image, the emotional climate of the neighborhood, and which hat best showed the hair in the contemporary light.

I noticed I was getting paranoid about public opinion. It felt like I was running for office and the press was fickle and didn’t have the facts. Finally, I decided to put it up for a vote – the only way to find the truth. So here are a few possibilities for your consideration.

The Classic Alaska Fisherman


“What’s with the HAIR, sir?”

“Well, son, it’s like this:”

“1- Who has time for hair concerns when the fish are biting?”

“2- It matches my new Alaska boots.”

“3- Have you ever seen a Grizzly bear with a hair cut…just askin.”


The Tough Hombre


What’s with the HAT, sir?”

“I wear this hat for 3 good reasons.”

“First, it makes people sit up straight and call me “sir”.”

“Second, I wear it whenever I feel like robbin a bank or just shootin up the place.”

“Third, I wear this hat to keep the sun outa my eyes when I’m takin aim to shoot any dude that ask too many questions. Anything else you wanta know – DUDE?”


The Shining Example of the Quintessential All American Icon of Professional Freelance Landscape Photographers


“What’s with the CAMERA, sir?”

“Glad you asked. I bought this amazing specimen of the latest technological advancements because it’s really cool hanging around my neck with a megahuge lens attached. Also, it looks nice with this expensive outdoor coat.”

“Hey, could you move a little to the left while I take this self-portrait for Facebook, you’re blocking the subtle, but suggestive, glow of morning light that gives such creative expression of finely chiseled lines and weathered tones to my facial skin.”

Rolling Stones Wannabee

rolling-stones-wanabe “What’s with the NOLSTAGIA, sir?”

“When I was a teenager I wanted to start a rock band and let my hair grow. Now that I am old enough to be my own boss, I am thinking more seriously about it.”

The End Of the Great Hair Growing Saga

I have been wearing so many hats with this hair, that I am getting confused about who I really am. It keeps reminding me of Samson, or The Mighty Mountain Man of the Wild West. My wife, who has little imagination, says it reminds her of the typical generic garden variety of homeless bum.

The reaction on the street is consistent, everyone ignores it. I get absolutely no attention – and not one beautiful strange woman has tried to run her hands through my hair like I expected. (My wife scornfully warned me “your dreaming”) Some days, I get this awful feeling that everyone is looking at me like I am just a “Leftover Hippy” trying desperately to recapture my youth.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore – it was becoming a constant aggravation trying to keep it out of my face. I got it cut yesterday. Suddenly, I started getting all kinds of attention and compliments – especially from my wife!

(Photos by granddaughter – Tiana Shalom Crist}