Monday, January 26, 2009

Haircuts, Gasoline and Tough Choices

My dad was the director of the Southeast Rio Vista YMCA in Huntington Park, California in the 80's and continues to be a part of the "Y" to this day. But, as he told my brother and I, years before that, when he was first trying to gain college course credits and employment through a YMCA program, he found that he had an important decision to make one day.

On the morning of the program interview my dad needed to get a haircut. The year was 1970 and he had pretty shaggy hair and thick mutton-chop side burns and he said, "The people I would be working with through this program would not have approved of long hair." So, he thought he would get a haircut on the way to the interview. He got into the car, which was a 1956 Corvette that he was borrowing from his brother-in-law and discovered that the fuel gauge was down to "E" (my dad told me that because he was a starving student it was always on or near empty). Not having much money at the time, he realized that he had only enough for either the haircut or gasoline. He chose gas and just hoped that the interview went well. It did, but afterward the hiring manager shook his hand and mentioned that my dad needed to cut his hair before he started working there...

Fast forward to 2008. My younger brother was going to be interviewing for a teaching position at the community college. He had been working as a volunteer coordinator for a non-profit cleanup project in the National Forest which didn't pay much money and only lasted for the summer. Along with the interview came the excitement of finally getting to put his degree to use and money was getting tight and he needed some steady dough for rent and to pay off his student loans.

The day of the interview came. He got up, had some cereal, brushed his teeth and shaved, noticing in the mirror that his hair was looking a little unkempt. "No matter", he thought, "I'll get a haircut on the way to my interview." He got into his car and as he started the engine he noticed the fuel gauge. His chin dropped. Shaking his head and laughing to himself, my brother grabbed his cell phone and called my dad to tell him about the important decision he had to make...

1 comment:

  1. The apple truly doesn't fall to far from the tree. Thanks for stopping by and checking me out on my blog. Hope it was worth the trip.