This time I have blogged on beards...... yes, facial hair. That is what this blog is all about....GWABs(guys with a beard). It seems to me that there certainly are more beards now than at any other time in my life. I think they are a bit like tattoos.... when I was around 20 a beard was a statement of lifestyle (hippy) or protest (anti war) in many cases. Not too many "mainstream" guys were walking around with beards. Much like with tattoos, at that time there was a bit of a stigma, but one that the hair wearer (I love that term... nice rhyme) was happy to live with.
Check this picture of me quickly because you won't see it again. I have had a beard three times in my life and the picture above shows the latest and last beard I will ever have.... 2011. I just had surgery on my cheek and neck and could not shave for a while so I grew the beard. In all due respect to some of the guys below..... I have never understood why you would grow a beard of gray or white that makes you look older. I look old enough as it is.
Now it seems at least every third guy sports a beard. One young man told me: "Having a beard is like a deer having antlers, the bigger it is the more of a man you are." Well, obviously 90 percent of the beard guys would disagree, because they are steady groomers who keep the size under control and wear a beard as a matter of fashion. However, it seems like almost everyone has one....I mean people from all walks of life, ages and professions. In this blog I feature samples from the Pepper. I am not planning to go into depth about who these people are, just briefly their name and what they do....although there may be an exception or two.
Just a comment on getting these pictures: I have mentioned before that it is not the easiest thing in the world to get people to stand while I take my pictures. I have found that most women will let me take their picture if they think their hair looks ok.... if not they will turn me down for that reason. Now I am a confident guy, but there are a lot of men who look stern and unapproachable. A few men have turned me down politely because they just don't want to and a couple have even just brusquely said, "no" and walked away. Others will say that they don't like their picture taken because they don't want anyone to know who they are and I even had a guy run from me, yelling back over his shoulder than he had three warrants for his arrest out on him. Sooooooooooooo when I decided to do this "beard blog" I expected a lot of rejection. I thought and thought about how to approach these bearded beasts. I hit on this: I simply walked up to them and said, "Can I talk to you for a minute about your beard?" Almost every man became friendly and let me shoot a picture or five which I always do. They love this facial hair.... no doubt and are pleased to chat about it.
Enough chatter.....Here we go.....showing that all types of guys are bearded (young/old and rich/poor), have all kinds of occupations, and their beards come in all shapes and sizes.
PLUMBER.... This is Ed Reno. He was the first bearded guy that I shot. I saw him walking into LOWES and stopped my car and tracked him down. I was 90% sure he would not let me take his picture, because he looks like the rugged individual that you so often see around Culpeper and those guys occasionally don't want their picture taken, but he just said, "Shoot away!" Ed informed me that his dad had been a plumber and that he is too. His wife, Diane who was with him, was a real sweetheart, I really enjoyed these guys.
MOTORCYLE CUSTOMIZING SHOP OWNER... Shane Hull. I almost never put the same person in more than one of my blogs, but I am making an exception for Shane. He is featured in my last blog for the shop he owns, but he is also a GWAB (guy with a beard) and so here he is!
LOWES EMPLOYEE.... This is Aristotle Kastrinos and he has worked at Lowes for 9 years and tells me that he is in a very serious relationship.
FATHER....This is Brian Palmer and he has a very different beard from the others... so far. He is my friend and has a very cute young family. I know he works, but as far as I am concerned, he is a dad!
MECHANIC.... I ran into David Milbourne and his family in Food Lion. He told me that he has been a mechanic his "whole life."
SCHOOL TEACHER.... Bill Davidson is a school teacher for Fauquier County Schools and lives in Culpeper. He has been nominated for "Teacher of the Year" in the high school where he works.
RETIRED GOVERNMENT WORKER.... Anthony Thompson has lived in the Pepper for the last 16 years. He spent the last few years of his work life commuting to Ft. Belvoir..whew!
PRIVATE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR.... Shane Jefferies and his wife and two kids moved to Culpeper in the last few years.
ASSISTANT STORE MANAGER AT FOOD LION.....Paul Anderson. I have decided that the two best places to find men with beards in Culpeper are Lowe's and Food Lion.
CO OWNER OF HARRIET'S GENERAL STORE.... Arie Shrewsbury.
ABC CLERK.... Nathan Rivas who may just be the winner of the thickest beard contest. He says his beard is a point of pride.
MARKET MANAGER FOR FOOD LION.... Larry Brown. Larry says he grew his beard to keep warm.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT..... Nate Lake is still in school and just 18, but he can grow a heck of a beard!
REMODELING AND HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING GUY.... Michael Ankrom sports one of the smallest beards....that takes a lot of clipping....or maybe not.
RETAIL MANAGER.... Tom Johnson
RETIRED WATER AND SEWER SUPERINTENDENT.... Don Echols
RETIRED TRUCK DRIVER.... William Holmes Sr.
UNDECIDED.... Robert Bradford
SANTA CLAUS!!.... Mike Lawson. He really is Santa Claus at Christmas time. He also teaches Medical Education and Training.
COOK AT DENNY'S.... Ryan Moore
GENERAL LANDSCAPER AND TREE GUY.... Dan Jenkins. I have to comment .... I saw this stern looking guy sitting in his well worn pickup and thought that he might be a tough nut to crack. As it turned out Dan may have been the nicest guy of any I shot for this.
PROFESSIONAL DETAILER.... Bernard Settle III
SURFACE BLASTER (dynamite) AND DRILL OPERATOR.... Eric Kidd. What a cool guy! He has a broken thumb that is still in a small cast (almost through with casts). I had my thumb joint replaced a couple of years ago and so we had hand casts and painful rehab to share and talk about. It makes me cringe because I am not too far from needing the joint replaced on the other thumb. If the people I shoot give me an email address I send them a copy of the picture. Of all the people that I shot for this, he is the only one to reply with a brief "thank you" note.....AND the only man ever to do that! I am impressed.
RADIO SHACK SALES ASSOCIATE..... Howard Jefferson
PLANT MANAGER OF TANOM MOTORS .... This is Chris Hall sporting a tightly trimmed beard. I have to digress from just beards on this one. Chris is managing something that I am excited about. Tamon Motors is about to open its national plant right here in Culpeper. Watch for their product announcement. Their operation here in town will employ about 300 people. Shortly I will feature them in my "Snapshot of Culpeper."
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER FOR TANOM MOTORS.... Terry Holloway
ROAD PAVER.... George Smith. George told me that he first grew his beard in high school and has never been without it since. In fact, he said, "my face has never felt a razor."
FARM MANAGERS, MONTERRIAN FARMS.... Amazingly this is a father/son team. When I saw the father in the parking lot at Target I knew I had struck gold for my blog on beards. His is a face with a lot of character. However, when I approached him, his son stepped out of the pickup truck and I knew I had stumbled on one of the key pictures for this blog. This is Joe (father) and Josh (son) Keys. Nice guys. Oh, and you can forget any ZZ Top references....I tried it and they have started to grow a bit tired of it. By the way, both of them say that they have never shaved. Like father, like son.
SUBSTITUTE TEACHER APPLICANT.... From one extreme to another...... Jared Brumfield asked "Who doesn't have a beard?" Of course the obvious answer is (inspite of my picture at the top of this blog): ME!!!!!
CRAFTSMAN...... Seth Plaster with Plaster Family Furniture. When I asked Seth's wife what "craftsman" meant in Seth's case, she told me that he hand makes amazing custom furniture.
PROPERTY MANAGER, CAR WASH.... Junior Baker. Junior was not too sure about having his picture taken, but once again, this guy has so much character in his face and I am glad he let me take the shot.
SERVICE ADVISORS BATTLEFIELD CHEVROLET.... Patrick Coppage and Robby Allen. Robby had been helping me with my still amazing 2004 Trailblazer (ten years and absolutely no trouble) and so I talked him into letting me take a picture of his face and beard for this blog. That office had been all business until we started on beards and these guys became a riot. I had to get these two friends together showing off their beards. Fun guys! It turns out that Patrick had a "Duck Dynasty" beard until a few weeks ago. It seems like a lot of guys are trimming those down because I ran into more than my share of guys who said something like: "You should have seen it two weeks ago." That's called a near miss.
GROCERY MANAGER.... James Robertson. Food Lion is a great place to meet guys with beards. I was told several times that, "You need to see James, he has one of those 'Duck Dynasty' beards." So I went back three times before I caught him and lo and behold he was one of the guys I just mentioned who had recently done a trimming. Still a great beard! He was just a little "freaked out" with me taking his picture, but he gave me a good one.
SALES ASSOCIATE AT LOWES..... goes by "Wink." I don't know about the wink part, but he sure has a twinkle in his eyes.
RETIRED PLASTICS WORKER AND HANDIMAN......OH, MY GOSH!!!!! I DID NOT WRITE HIS NAME DOWN!!!! I remember this, though...he told me that his beard was a winter thing that when summer comes he shaves his beard and his head! Sooo if you see a guy who looks like this only without a beard, hat and hair... you may want to tell him that I didn't get his name. :)
A reader gave me his name....Richard Pierce! Glad to have it and a big thanks!!!
DRYWALL MAN (THE KIND ON STILTS) AND OWNER OF RENTAL PROPERTIES.... Floyd Miller.
Whew.... that is a lot of GWABS. Once I started looking for this kind of guy, it seemed like I could not stop. Now everywhere I go I see great beards on guys that I want to get in a picture. I had so many interesting conversations with a ton of men AND only one turned me down..... only one! This was such a good opportunity to meet people (yep! people... lots of these guys were accompanied by a woman) that I would never have a chance to talk with. I can tell you this.... there will be a part two. I am finishing up a part three on tattoos and next winter will do a new blog on beards. Young, old and in between and again representing all walks of life right here in the Pepper.
There is just one beard left that I could not do a "beard blog" without......
MY GRAND FINALE.... TAH DAH!!!!!
LAWYER..... Matthew Crowley is not only an attorney in Culpeper, but in my opinion he is the best attorney in the Pepper. I might be just a little biased because he is my son, but...... it is my blog!!
OK... that is it for this time. This has been a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed it. You can always join up to be a "follower" of this blog. Be sure to tell the guys you saw in here that you know, that they looked like a rock star..... even if they didn't.
Don't forget to check out my weekly contribution to the Culpeper Times called , "Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper."