I recently sat for a fourth haircut since my arrival in Fairbanks mid-January.

My wife Gosia cut me first. The second was a stylist shop near the Daily News-Miner.

The first barber argued with another barber about who belonged on an all-time basketball team list. He glared at me when I said Steph Curry.

Then he snipped and snipped, but little came off. I like getting clipped down to the nub ever since my receding hairline collided with my bald spot.

The last two times have been at a Sixth Street barbershop frequented by military personnel. If anyone knows how to scalp a scalp, it’s a military barber.

There was only one barber working, so I took a seat. A handsome, grey haired Alaskan Native sat before me in the chair. The barber asked how he liked his hair trimmed. He didn’t answer so she took direction from the man’s wife.

She gestured to the barber that she wanted Hubby’s thick eyebrows trimmed.

“He is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s,” his wife whispered to me.

“How old is he?” I asked.

“90,” she said.

“Gee, he looks 60,” I said.

“We’ve been married 67 years,” she said. “We both were married once before. They weren’t real marriages,” she said.


“No, They were just for practice.”

He slid out of the chair and came over to me while his wife paid. Until now, he had said nothing. He stood about six-three.

He stared down with exaggerated interest at my bald head. For a split second I thought he might rub it.

“Maybe ask them for a discount,” he said.

His wife looked embarrassed. So did the lady barber.

But he and I howled like hyenas.

We shook hands at parting.

Hank Nuwer is managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. For questions, contact him at hanknuwer@newsminer.com.