“Oh dear lord,” Muttered H.L. Sallee as he rounded the sidewalk to the small barbershop he ran at the Fort Chaffee Army Base. “If only half these yahoos were here for a haircut, I could retire early.”
A mass of people swarmed the front of his shop, jockeying for a view of the inside. Most were armed with cameras and flashbulbs.
“Reporters,” he grumbled.
Deciding he wasn’t making it through that, Sallee came in the back way, where he was immediately ambushed by his junior employee.
“Boss! You said I’d get to do it!”
“Pete’s been cutting hair longer than you’ve been alive, if wants to cut a bit more, he’s welcome to it. You should watch him, try to learn something.”
“Aww, nuts to that. He’s just doin’ a GI shave on him.”
“Let’s hope you’re good at it, because I guarantee you it won’t just be army boys getting that cut once those pictures get out.
The handsome man in the barber chair snapped up a lock of his dark hair and put it under his nose like a mustache, hamming it up for the reporters.
“Any haircut Elvis Presley has, the rest of the world will want.”
When Elvis was drafted in 1957, he was in the middle of filming ‘King Creole’, and was able to get a deferment until the movie was finished. This, I think, is the only thing that kept the female youth of America from dying from a collective heartbreak. It would be two years before Elvis was back home in Memphis, which was plenty of time for his hair to grow back out.