Saturday, July 04, 2009

HAIR For The Fourth Of July 1971

Yup, that was me back in 1971. My daughter Elena was a newborn and I was the proud owner of a Pentacon-Six, a single lens reflex camera from East Germany that used 120 roll film and made BIG negatives. They went through a series of importers in a few years time, each in turn dumping their unsold inventory for cheap. You could by one for about 20% of the price of a Hasselblad, and the Carl Zeiss Jena lenses, also from East Germany, were a bargain to boot.

I don't remember which restaurant I was in, or who I was with, but they wanted to try the camera and I was a convenient subject. I probably only had my hair that long for a year at most. The girls loved it, but were very, very jealous that I didn't have to set it or anything. I'd just come out of the shower, lightly pat it dry with a towel, and give my head a good shake! Half an hour later it was dry and looked like this. No muss, no fuss, no bother!

Perhaps a year later my client list had shifted from rock groups and festivals to more civilized endeavors like a computer company, a couple of land developers, and so on. Time to trade jeans and sandals for suits and ties, and kiss the hair goodbye. I miss it.

On the other hand I could then afford to buy a Hasselblad and a set of West German Carl Zeiss lenses. In a few more years I even had myself a West German wife, Claudia. We're now long divorced but still good friends. She's always telling me to get a haircut! Had I done that back in the early seventies my life would have traveled a far different path. I never would have met her. Long hair does have its effects.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Al,

Back in the 1970s my friends and I all wanted watch straps like yours - but our local watch shop only had those thin brown leather ones from the 1950s. Don't think I've ever got over that ...

6:46 AM  
Blogger Al Kaplan said...

It seems that with everybody carrying cell phones around watches are history and watch straps have gone the way of buggy whips.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Mark Ehlers said...

Yeah, I spotted that watch strap right away! I had one, but it just made my skinny wrist look even skinnier. I still wear a watch, a $25 Timex. Analog, no less. It's been through at least 5 leather straps, and "it keeps on ticking".

Al, that's the same hair I had back in the late '70s. I refuse to let it get than long anymore!

6:07 PM  

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