Now it must have happened, but for the life of me, I don’t remember. It must’ve gone something like this–

“Mommy! Mommy! HIM!” And I must’ve hopped up and down pointing at our big tube television with wood paneling on the sides. 

“Please! Please! Please!” I must’ve begged her. I just don’t honestly remember how it went down. 

I’m not sure if I was watching Arthur on Encore starring Dudley Moore or some adult contemporary CD commercial featuring slow jams with Richard Marx or Rod Stewart or Barry Manilow. 

“I want my hair to look just like his!” I must’ve said. And based on childhood photos, this scene had to have played out when I was 3-4yrs old, and then again around 10. 

“Okay, okay!” Mom must’ve given in, “Get your turtleneck and vest on, load up in the 1970 Impala, and let’s go to Westark Barber College!”

There were 3 levels of stylists at the barber college–beginner $2, intermediate $4, advanced $6. Mom and Dad chose the millionaire route for their own hair. 

We were not given a choice, but apparently the beginner stylists were well-versed in fluffy mullets as evidenced by my own hair, as well as my older brother and sister’s.

I don’t remember her name, I don’t remember what she looked like, I only remember the jolly little giggle of my Beginner stylist as she snipped away, facing me away from the mirror.  

I had a knack for making an entire room full of adults laugh. Audrey has the knack too. You’re either born with it, or you’re not. Don’t try to force it. 

I don’t remember what kind of jokes I made, but I do remember my sister Heather making a wide-eyed, stern-mom look at me, so it must’ve been good embarrassing stuff. 

“Emily, you’re YELLING!” Heather liked to scold me, and Lord only knows why she did; it only inspired me to do the exact opposite of what she wanted.

Duh, I was yelling. You don’t hide this kind of comedic talent under a bushel. Imma let it do what it do, baby. Let it shine.

I like to imagine that Giggles turned my chair back to the mirror in slow motion, a hush probably fell over the salon, maybe a cloud moved just then and the morning sun brightened my face at the exact moment I made eye contact with my reflection.

My jaw probably slacked open (see rainbow tshirt photo for visual). This was no $2 haircut, folks. I must’ve been thinking, likely the whole salon was thinking…




Rockin it
Always a lady
Drink it in

Some of my childhood hairos

One thought on “Dudley Manilow

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