Makin’ Tracks

“Hey Dad, this time I want tracks.”

“Fantastic. Tell me what that means.”

“You know. Tracks. In my hair. On the sides. Two above each ear.”

“Tracks? Sounds like you mean GT stripes.”

“Here and here, that’s what I mean.”

“OK. Let’s do it”

That’s how it began, more or less. Tracks. In his hair. He was about eight years old.

I’d always cut his hair when he was little. Asked a hairdresser friend how to layer cut and it was all systems go from there.

A conscious decision back then was to let him have anything he wanted in the way of hairstyle. I’d learned that lesson in high school.

It was about 1963. My brother was into his hair. Kookie was on TV, always combing and flicking and grooming. My brother took on the look. And the comb, flicking his Brylcremed forelock back with style and precision. The girls formed a queue. He got out of the swimming pool one day with his hair clinging down around his head. “Dare you to come to school like that tomorrow.” It was one of the girls. Maybe it was more that one. So he did.

He was sent to the principals office – then sent home. “Don’t come back until it’s respectable.” Above the ears, short back and sides, military precision, all that stuff. Our Mum was not into foolishness. She marched him right back to the school and had it out with the principal. School was about educating her kid’s heads, not about shearing them. Mum won. Who’d have guessed it?  Suddenly the Beatles shut down the world’s barber shops and nothing was ever the same.

Fast forward to the next generation and my son wants tracks. “We can do it!” I said. So we did. After all, I was only there to learn.

He was a style-leader in a moment. A fashionista. He had a cool Dad and a cool head. Every kid in school wanted one.

Fast forward another twenty years. Eight year old boys are into tracks. It’s on again. Back in fashion. I point it out to my son. He grins. We both know. He was a fashion leader. Before his time. Going where nobody had gone before.

Everybody should have such memories.

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