Red in the Barbarshop


It was my first time in a barbershop.  My first time in the big barber chair.  I watched the barber in the mirror as he menacingly snipped a pair of scissors at the air above my head. “Okay Red,” he grinned, “Off it comes!”

I cried.

My father, his reflection in the mirror reassured me, “Don’t worry, Bunky.  It won’t hurt.”

‘It won’t?” I sniffled.

“Nah, you’ll be just fine,” he said.

I wiped my nose on my shirtsleeve and asked, “Am I red, Daddy?  The barber called me ‘red’.”

“Well... umm... see...,” my father paused, cleared his throat, and answered, “People with your color hair are called ‘Red’.”

“Then what color are apples?”


“Daddy, do they ever call red apples, Bunky?  Or if the apples are bad, do they call them, Robert?  You don't ever call me Red.  Why not?  If I'm not red, why am I red?  Are there other Bunkys in the world?  Are they red, too?” 

You could hear all the people in the barbershop holding back their laughter.

My father took a breath and said, ”Son, even though your hair color isn't red, people see it as red.  Because of this, some people will always call you Red.  Learn to accept it--it's a fact of life.”

I always likened myself to TV's Howdy Doody, maybe because he had the same color hair as me.  I asked my father, “Daddy, How come nobody ever calls Howdy Doody, red?”

⬆⬆The real Bunky⬆⬆

My father smiled and said, "That's because Howdy Doodys in black and white."

"Not on the bread wrapper, he's not!" I said, "Howdy Doody has my hair on the bread wrapper!"

HowdyDTV.jpg          wonder_loaf_convert.jpg          HowdyBreadBodyThumb


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Robert Red-Baer

1950-Went to Tinton Falls Elementary School, N.J.
1962-Went to Monmouth Regional HS, N.J.
1964-Graduated US Army NCO Acadamy, Germany
1971-Graduated University of Hawaii with honors
1973-Red Heart Follies (Hawaii)
1975-Japan Prime Minister's Award (Video), among many
1985-Professor Edogawa University, Chiba Japan
2010-Retired in Japan