Hair Follies

Jeff Chandler as Cochise in Broken Arrow, 1950

I was named after Jeff Chandler. My middle name comes from James Dean, and I’m fairly happy about that, but Jeff Chandler puzzled me.

I’ve often quizzed my mom about Jeff Chandler. I’d seen him in old war movies and such, but never seen the attraction until today. He also played Cochise in a number of old westerns, perhaps a bit over the top as the “noble savage.”

I noticed today that he has a strong resemblance to my father. Mom says she thought he was handsome, and she just liked the name. I suppose that noble savagery has a strong heritage in most of my family tree.

I decided to try a test today. Is there any resemblance?

Jeff Ward as Long Hair in The Bathroom, 2001

The whole time I lived in California no one really said much about my hair. In Arkansas, it’s the first thing people want to talk about. “Don’t people confuse you with a girl?” Uh, no, not really. I don’t see many women with moustaches.

It’s kind of annoying. “Do you use conditioner?” “Do you blow-dry your hair?” Uh, I just sort of walk around in the rain and beat it dry on the rocks . . . just kidding. Nothing special, get shampoo it and let it dry normally. “Does it get in your way?” No, that’s why they invented rubber bands…

At least it hasn’t turned white yet. Jeff Chandler’s hair was all white by age 18, my dads, by age 30. Mine just keeps growing in the same sort of dirt-brown color. “How long did it take to grow it?” It was above my ears four years ago. I’m just lazy. I hate haircuts.

More than you wanted to know, perhaps. I just thought I’d take a snap, because I may hack it off again when I start to look for work.