Long before you made it through the awkward stage, before any aspirations of longhair living, before you even had a pulse. Dad was there, and dad had his day.
Many of us are familiar with our fathers as the guy who tells us to get a haircut. The voice of reason, practical and insightful.
As it turns out, he was doing his own thing before you came along demanding food, shelter and attention. And before he was a clean cut model American stretching for retirement, he had longhair aspirations of his own.
Chances are he was in his prime during the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s, back when photos were developed from film, status was expressed with muscle cars, and the male midriff was in. Back when there was no such thing as the awkward stage.
You weren’t around back then, so you’ll never really know what he was like in his longhair life. You can look at photos, ask your grandparents, maybe your mom will offer a few wistful flashbacks in time.
The truth is, dad had some style. He had some swag. He had at least enough game to attract your mother, and the hair was involved.
He was just trying to catch a buzz and hang out, man. But then you came along. Whether it was you or your older siblings, at some point dad had to reel it in. He had to get a full time job, put the priorities of the family ahead of his own and take care of business. And for most dads, whether by choice or natural selection, he retired those long streaming locks.
But the pictures don’t lie, dad. It was long, and wavy.
When you see him these days, you might still catch a fleeting glimpse of dad before he was dad, as he stares off in the distance with a Coors Light in hand, a fresh pair of white New Balance sneakers and the faint smell of charcoal wafting on a warm summer breeze.
We might never see another generation like dad’s. We can only revere and remember them for who they were: the guys who made the awkward stage awkward.
This Father’s Day we’re paying a tribute to all the dads out there, but especially the dads with long hair. Our longhair forefathers, who wore it long AND big.
So don’t forget to take a moment this weekend to give your dad the head nod, the high sign, the “I see ya pop.” And let him relive the glory days, if only in his mind.
Big thanks to everyone who submitted photos!