Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Monday, January 17, 2011


In 1968 the musical HAIR was born. Dan's HAIR was born after he came home from his tour of Germany and he was discharged from the Army. His hair was beautiful and it drove our father crazy. Dan was born a towhead like the rest of his siblings. We were all strikingly blond. We had no choice. Our father was known as the "Striking Viking" and he was blond. He was Norwegian and Swedish and handsome. Our mother was no slouch in the good looks department with dark brown hair and brown eyes with bright gold flecks. But the Norwegian won out in us kids.

Bill was the spitting image of our father. I was the spitting image of our father. Dan was the spitting image of our mother's father-Papa. Dan was tall and lanky with round eyes that just looked mischievous all the time just like Papa.  As he grew older his hair turned to a golden auburn that shimmered. As blond as I was and as vain as I was of that attribute, I envied his hair. It didn't curl out of control or have a mind of its own. It hung straight and it shone.

In the hospital, as I sat beside him, I stroked his hair. He had cut it short and it had some gray in it but it was still auburn. I realized that his hair was the same texture as mine. Very fine and silky. It was the first time I had actually felt his hair and the realization was stunning to me. I mentioned it to my hairdresser last week and she laughed. She use to cut Dan's hair. Her remark was that the only difference was that mine curled and that if Dan's had done that he would have looked like the Flying Tomato (the Olympic snowboarder with red hair).

Bill is holding a lock of Dan's hair for me. It is all I wanted.

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