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Seen in 702: The beauty, the splendor and wonder of hair

To borrow from Dave Barry (which I have off and on for 30 or so years), I am not making this up.

I boarded an RTC bus downtown Thursday morning, and the driver said, “Hello, gorgeous-head-of-hair man.”

I grinned and thanked her for the compliment. I also didn’t have the heart to tell her my mane will be gone in less than two months.

On March 14 at Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits, 9915 S. Eastern Ave., the hairbrush and I will part company as I take part in the St. Baldrick’s Foundation event.

This is the second time through with the shears. Last year, I was petrified about being bald for the first time since I was 1½. I liked it when my hair got to its Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” look (though detractors thought it looked more like Cousin Itt).

Rubber Soul or Cousin Itt? (Tony Garcia/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rubber Soul or Cousin Itt? (Tony Garcia/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

But with renewed bravery (and tequila), I went through with it. If I had known I’d become Walter White, I might have done it sooner. (I also might have watched “Breaking Bad” … and “Mad Men,” while were at it.)

I didn’t know whether I was going to do this again. Last year, it was for friends who were fighting or had battled cancer. A year later, that list has, unfortunately, grown.

KSNV-3’s Michelle Velez has been fighting stage 4 Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia, which developed because of a molar pregnancy. She has been keeping family, friends and fans updated on her Facebook page. Here’s one of the latest entries.

Tim Chong was a journalist I got to work with twice at the Yuma (Ariz.) Daily Sun. We had the same, warped sense of humor. He and a co-worker took it one step beyond during a 1999 road trip to San Diego to see the Padres take on the Montreal Expos.

We figured it would be an incredibly easy ticket to get. But we didn’t know that was the night the Padres organization chose to honor Tony Gwynn on his 3,000th hit. Instead of the usual 16,000 fans, there were 55,086 at Qualcomm Stadium.

Tim and Tony Carroll (the other co-conspirator in the road trip) didn’t care at all because they decided to pass themselves off as French-Canadian fans enjoying their first game in the United States. They used their outrageous French-Canadian for all nine innings of the 5-4 Padres loss.

Tim eventually left his hometown newspaper for stops around the country, winding up in Tampa, Florida. It was there this past summer that he received the diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

He did fight hard, but his fight was short.

Tim Chong
Tim Chong

Another lifetime ago, I worked with Emily Tropp at the Rockford (Ill.) Register-Star. Not only was she a talented writer, she was a workout demon, always competing in various distance races.

She dropped the bombshell a few weeks ago of her ovarian cancer diagnosis. Emily’s first chemo session was Thursday.

So I’m going to do this again and try to give John Katsilometes some competition.

Whatever you can do to help is appreciated. Thank you. And my soon-to-be-idle hairbrush thanks you.

Contact Tony Garcia at tgarcia@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0307. Follow @TonyGLVNews on Twitter.

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