Other People's Stories, Part 2 of ?: "They locked me up until the barber was available."

This one is about my dad, who reads this blog and I'm sure will correct me if I tell it wrong!

My dad hitchhiked across the country, from Western Pennsylvania to San Francisco, or vice versa, a few times in the late 60's. He was (and maybe still is) a hippie, with the long hair that comes with that lifestyle choice. During one trip across the country, he was arrested in *Joplin, Missouri, for having long hair.

Seriously, he was arrested for having long hair.

It was a Friday afternoon, and they kept him in jail until Monday morning, when the barber was ready to cut his hair. Apparently, the barber didn't work weekends. He was fed three square meals a day, and the meals were cooked by the sheriff's wife, who was actually quite a good cook. He was warm. He was dry. It was actually a nice break from hitching, there was no one else in the jail, so he didn't much mind. Monday morning, the barber came and cut his hair, and my daddy went on his merry way.

*In college, I had a boyfriend from Joplin, and that's when my dad told me this story. I ended up staying with that idiot for two more months, and afterwards I thought, man, I should've known as soon as my dad told me that story about Joplin. I should've dumped him then. But, you know, hindsight is golden.


  1. Your memory serves you very well. There are other details that I may not have told you, but I'll never forget those home-cooked meals that the sheriff's wife brought me. They were incredible!

    After they let me out, they had a parade! With my short hair I blended right in with the crowd. It was great fun.

  2. Was the parade because the Hippy had been ceremonially shorn?

    In my head, it's like The Wicker Man, and they must harvest the locks of a young man to ensure a good harvest.

  3. I'm very glad it wasn't too much like Wicker Man, for those of us who have seen how Wicker Man ends...

  4. It was the annual Homecoming parade.