at syracuse university, it took me a while.
the first two years, i would travel home for it, sometimes it being the only reason i sped down i-90 in my maroon ’99 ford contour. no change, just a little extra driving. nothing i couldn’t handle.
but as my time away from niagara falls increased, so did my need to move on. so i did – and was happy for about a year.
but then the style changed, and so i began experimenting.
i’ll pause the story and quickly fill you in on the context of “it”… a haircut.
okay play. as i grew my “fohawk” – all was well at the shoppingtown barbershop, the closest thing i had to ross and joe c. back in the falls, on and just off of pine ave. respectively. the whole set-up certainly was a sight to be had… just imagine eight italian barbers of three generations, all wearing matching shirts with their name embroidered above the pocket sleve. tony, vinny, anthony jr., sal, frank… you get the idea. the walls plastered in sports memorabilia – commemorating everything from the yankees 26 world championships to the lemoyne dolphins dII national lacrosse titles.
i called this shop mine from the end of my sophomore year to the beginning of the senior campaign.
the “fohawk” broke new ground for me, uncharted territories if you will. never had i ever invested more time and thought into my thick, black, curly hair. things were cool for a while – some of you liked it, some of you did not.
but then it got out of control. looking back on pictures – i should’ve realized sooner that it was time for a change. the curls were unmanageable. the hawk turned into a pile of onion curls. for a lack of a better term – it became ridiculous.
and you can’t have ridiculous hair on your national tv debut.
so i head to shoppingtown in search of a trim that will take my “do” back to a respectable level. with my vast experience in receiving haircuts, i account for the time it will take for my hair to grow back to normal after the cut, as well as my itinerary and the schedule of the shop.
a week in advance it was. for once in my life, i planned something ahead of time and executed. and in a round-about way, it paid off – although not in the fashion i anticipated.
see, vinny, sal… whichever barber’s number i drew that day… he did not understand how a fohawk works. or atleast how mine shaped. for example, even though i spike the top, all the sides are cut close-to-even, so that when the hawk “erects” – it doesn’t look disproportional to the rest of my head.
yeah i just typed that.
furthermore, there is no “fade” on a fohawk. again, steady and even all the way around. including the back.
as i walked out of the mall, i feared for the worst, because the past twenty minutes had not once touched on steady or even. my hair was a mess, and i needed to look my sharpest for the biggest career moment to that date.
but thankfully my hair dilemna was a blessing in disguise. it forced me to buzz off my hair – which certainly made me more presentable as i reported on a student matricide case with rita cosby during a msnbc news block.
furthermore, it led me to find renee, who up until i left for wilkes-barre, was my stylist. reasonably priced, nice person, knew how to cut my hair – AND introduced me to the paste i now use, which helps to guard against the “ridiculous” and “onion curls” that my hair once encompassed.
there is a third reason why this all worked for the better. it involves mtv and an interview i had with them. but as my old professor dr. rick wright would say, “that’s another story.”
now on to the rest of this one – once again i’m in a new town, and once again i have to find someone who can cut the fohawk. unfortunately attempt number one ended up a disaster. so, now via self-portrait, please welcome the ralphie you will see for the next 45 to 60 days…