"What Dad Won't Tell You About Keeping a Beard," by John Roderick. Read Roderick's entire column on Reverb.
I always felt that clean-shaven adult men were suspicious-lookingâ€”either too vain or too conformist to let their face do what nature intendedâ€”so I strove to grow a beard from the first sign of a fuzzy wisp under my nose.
In 1986, when I first attempted to grow a beard, the general consensus was that beards were for murderers and maniacs. Almost no one in mainstream America wore a beard during the eighties, and even in Alaska a beard was a serious statement that the wearer ate cold beans from a can and slept with his dogs. The only public figure of any note who wore a beard at that time was Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who also wore a bow-tie, rode a mule, and carried a blunderbuss.