Thursday, October 12, 2006

My father's moustache

Speaking of moustaches...

My father wore a moustache all his life, certainly I never knew him without one.

Legend has it that he lost it once in a poker game. It's the only time my mother saw him without one, and it didn't take long for his look to be reestablished. (I don't know if my siblings existed yet, but I imagine they'd have been too young to remember.)

I have one photo of him sans moustache, age 17, but I don't see the resemblance. It was taken by an army buddy, inscribed and dated on the back so I know it to be him, but he looks a stranger. Indeed, it troubles me to look at it.

There are a few other pictures from his youth — but he was sufficiently angled, the photos grainy and shadowed... The effect is such as if the moustache were there.

Here's a school photo from childhood (circa early 1930s, Poland now Lithuania). That's my dad at the very front, the one on the left, looking very much like the man he grew up to be. He's, well, moustached.


Suzanne said...

Wow, what an amazing photograph. He looks quite rakish!

Tim said...

That's great! I grew a beard in college, and I've had a beard or goatee pretty much ever since. I had a similar moment one day after college when a co-worker commented that she couldn't remember me without a beard, even though she's known me since I was six.

It's certainly interesting how the brain draws familiarity with such things. So often, when guys go from beards to clean shaven, it's like they're hard to recognize.

kimbofo said...

What a great picture. My dad has always had a moustache too, although when we were teenagers my sister & I managed to convince him to shave it off for a bit: we did not recognise the stranger beneath! Very weird. He soon grew it back.

patricia said...

Lovely story.

My dad's the opposite. Clean shaven most of his life. But there was a time when he and mom lived in Trinidad, quite a few years before I was born, that he sported a moustache and small sharp goatee. The fist time I saw an old pic of him like this, I was terrified. I thought he looked just like the devil, or Mandrake the Magician, take your pick.