The fellow in this picture bears no resemblance to the man of today. He went through many stages of hairstyles during his time. This one was the beginning of his Bob Ross look, but it was before Bob ever became famous. He’s also wearing a tie, which is unheard of today. He’s always been very fashion conscious, but when he turned 40 he decided it was time to do his own thing by not conforming to what was expected of him. He hasn’t stopped since.
He’s always been a sort of quiet rebel in that way. In fact many of the current trends in fashion probably originated with him. For example, when we downsized last year, he finally parted with dozens of pairs of jeans from the past 30 years. They had become worn out in the knees, impaled with paint splotches and unfit to wear. Most likely they were picked up at the thrift stores and resold as the new designer look.
Part of his rebelliousness against fashion undoubtedly came from a young life of having to wear tailored suits and ties every Sunday for church, and whenever there was a funeral (which was often.) Early in his advertising career, he wiggled into the mold of dressing for success, but soon realized the suit and tie were inhibiting his creativity.
Today you will see him wearing jeans that are worn at the knee and covered with paint. He wears clean ones to church, but sometimes you may find a dot of paint on one of them too. The ties have been replaced with a bolo for special occasions.
His hairstyles have changed as well. When I first met him, he was one of the clean cut kids, with a close cut called a “butch.’ No Elvis look for him. This evolved into a “flat top” which was little longer on the top. A stint in the Air Force caused most of it to be cut off. The perm came in the 70’s when his hair was longer. Now its cut very close again – that which is left to cut. A man bun would not even be considered.
He began wearing a beard shortly after we were married. That also underwent some changes – from the Van Dyke look to full mountain man look. Occasionally he would shave it all off and I didn’t recognize him. So he grew it back again.
This man has a lot going on underneath his hats. He has a masterful brain. He’s a great problem solver. He knows how to teach, have compassion, cry when necessary and laughs a lot. He knows how to tell a great story, complete with body language and hand gestures. The Word of God is imprinted in his heart and he is a great evangelizer. He’s never been known to be shy and during our time together, he’s brought me out of my shell. He’s an encourager, motivator, inspirer, talented, inventive and he’s the man I love.