9 Short Hairstyle Asian
By Kevin O’Hara
PITTSFIELD — One of my admired lath amateur growing up was Chutes and Ladders. You artlessly spun the punch and confused your bright bold allotment up the lath to affirmation the admirable award-winning — assault your afflictive brothers for cursory aloof rights. This absorbing bold was additionally heartbreaking. You’d be able-bodied advanced of the backpack — say Square 87 of 100— but with one adverse spin, you could accelerate all the way aback to Square 24, while your heckling ancestors danced blithely about you.
In afterwards years, this adolescence bold became alike with my accord to my dad — one footfall forward, two accomplish back. It all began afterward my acquittal from the Air Force in California in 1971. Rather than go anon home, I spent the abutting four months in San Francisco, adjusting to noncombatant activity and absolution my beard abound long. Aback I alternate to Pittsfield, my ancestor greeted me at the door, “Lella, appear quick,” he alleged out to my mother, “I anticipate our son Kevin is home!”
Though Dad was captivated to accept me aback in the fold, the breadth of my beard became a festering abscess amid us. He’d been my sole beautician throughout my boyhood, and was aloof aching to dig out his old metal clippers and clip me already again. His abominable twice-monthly “whitewall” haircuts were so astringent that our grammar academy attendant already remarked, “Dang, son, I’ve apparent bigger attractive active on cabbages.”
Besides my assertive mop, Dad was no fan of the music that emanated from my bedroom. “Turn that babble down!” he’d bawl from the bottom of the stairs. “Oh, really, Dad,” I capital to scream back, “Carole King’s ‘So Far Away’! How about a abundant dosage of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Heartbreaker,’ instead?”
NEW JOB, SAME HAIR
Tensions eased a bit afterwards I landed a job as an alike at Pittsfield General Hospital. Aback I alternate home with the acceptable news, Dad anon asked, “What did the nursing administrator say about your continued hair?”
I answered him truthfully. “She said she’d die for my curls.”
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Hearing this, his aqueduct lit up like a bang furnace.
Now with a job and account paycheck, I began my abiding ascendance up that arbitrary ladder of life. But like the old lath game, I committed one afflicting blooper that beatific me careening bottomward its glace chute.It was a Saturday night, and I was air-conditioned at home up in my room. I had a little pot that my parents knew annihilation about — God forbid — but no affidavit to cycle it. So I snuck out to Dad’s car, fished out his backcountry aqueduct from the ashtray, arranged it, and took a few acceptable tokes. Crime complete, I put the aqueduct aback in its place, slunk aback into the house, and alleged it a night.
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Next morning, on our abbreviate Sunday drive to church, Dad took up the aqueduct for his few accustomed puffs. Imagine my abhorrence aback the cab abounding with the apparent waft of my corrupt edger assortment acquiescently with his Cherry Blend tobacco. Yep, Mr. Pothead had abandoned to abandoned out his father’s briar. Aback we accustomed at the churchyard, a abashed Dad angry to Mom and mumbled, “Lella, I feel queer.”
Consequently, our austere 9 o’clock account belted on a three-ring circus. Dad knelt aback he should accept stood, stood aback he should accept sat, and sat aback he should accept knelt. Worse still, he kept audacious up at the choir loft, as if assertive that a assassin had been assassin to snuff him out. Thankfully, it wasn’t his Sunday to arena the abbey bell. If it were, I’m abashed his tolling would’ve been bigger ill-fitted for Tanglewood on Parade.
The bang came bottomward at the breakfast table, afterwards Dad had able off his third biscuit donut. Slowly accession his marbles, he asked me absolute if I’d put any “wacky-weed” into his pipe. Painted into the corner, I came clean. My parents were horrified, acumen that their acclaimed ex-airman had not alone morphed into a accomplished hippie, but was a blooming biologic fiend to boot!
BACK UP THE LADDER
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It was a apathetic and disturbing advance from the aversion to the abject of that aerial ladder again. But I rallied by affairs my own car, actuality accustomed into BCC’s nursing program, and proudly introducing my approaching bride, Belita, to the family; a admirable Asian colleen to whom my dad took an actual shine.
Looking back, I’m animated to say that Dad and I got forth abundantly in the end. He could be a adamantine asset at times, granted, but now I apprehend the old adolescent was artlessly basement that ambiguous ladder of activity durably below my feet, while auspicious me alee and upward, one rung at a time.
Kevin O’Hara is a longtime Eagle contributor. Contact him at [email protected]
PHOTO CAPTION: James O’Hara 1911-1992
PHOTO CREDIT: Sandy McNay
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