Family Stories

Elvis’s Hair

Did I really just see that on the news?  Really?  A clump of what they believe is Elvis’s hair went on the auction blocked and fetched something with multiple zeroes after it?

The picture on  the news made me reel back in horror.  It was a black, snarled tangle of hair, supposedly shaved off when Elvis famously joined the Army around the time of the Korean War .

Some poor  barber ran over to the clump, pocketed it and then sold it.  And someone had it… where exactly? In a safe?  Did they stuff it in their pocket as a good luck charm?  Did they braid some of it to make a locket?  Did they put it under their pillow to be just a little bit closer to the King?

Looking at the unruly image of the hair on TV made me feel a little bit woozy.  It wasn’t even combed or tamed.  The clump of hair reminded me of the Three Stooges– was it Moe with that unruly black thatch on his head?  It looked like a mouse’s nest, or the things bird’s assemble to build nests from trash piles.

It had been just that morning that  I’d bent down to the drain in my own shower and retrieved a giant octopus of my family’s hair which had stubbornly lodged itself in the holes of the drain and seemed to grow in size as I pulled.  Other people’s hair, anyone’s vomit and rodents with tiny feet and tails are three of my top “household items” that can make me throw up just a little bit in my mouth.

So that thought that someone kept, for 50 years, a clump of someone else’s hair? And then the thought that someone paid a year and a half of college tuition for it in real dollars today is a little beyond me.  What in the world is the world coming to?

But I will tell you what this has taught me.  Don’t throw a damned thing out!  My kids old sneakers, their fingernail cuttings, the old third grade artwork.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

On the slim chance that my kids grow up and become famous– which seems to be as easy as being on a reality show these days, all of these items might one day help support Mommy in her old age.  I’m beginning to rethnk the concept of spring cleaning for this year and I urge you to do it too.


  1. Stan Kaczmarek

    October 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    You may have just solved the world’s trash problem! No more need for landfills, only compost piles for scrap food, and a large basement with flood and fire protection for everything else.

  2. Vidhya

    October 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Lee

    I just finished reading your latest book. I have two little kids and I am also recovering from cervical spine surgery. Your book made me smile, laugh and cry and it also reminded me of how precious life is. I loved reading all your stories. Keep writing!

  3. Susie

    October 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Glad you are feeling better!

  4. Lynn Rapone

    October 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Yes the spring cleaning will definetly have to wait for spring. I d on’t even have time to clean hair from the drains, usually this is my husand’s job. As I told you before this time of year there is no time for anything. Tomorrow will be pumpkin carving, which is my husbands job also. But the rest falls on me — Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, etc. Right now I have enought on my plate chauffering my kids from the doctor to get Swine Flu and regular flu shots, and since they are running out of both its a juggling act back and forth. This really sucks, but that’s a mom’s job!

  5. Beth

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I never understood Elvis’s charm or the duration of it with our fine country. And this is a topper! I can think of, maybe, a million better things on which to spend money.

    Maybe keep the kid’s artwork…but pitch the rest! 🙂

  6. Rebecca Weber

    October 31, 2009 at 3:30 am

    How hilarious, Lee!!! And, I love Stan’s comment and totally agree with Beth!!

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