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Military Museum Offers Buzz Cuts to Celebrate Summer, Promote History

by on June 21, 2014 3:45 PM

The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg may seem like a strange place to get a haircut, but Cody Laird walked in with a mop of golden locks and left with a buzz cut. 

Today marked the second year in a row the museum has offered buzz cuts to the public. The cut is an instantly recognizable style, worn by military personnel across service branches for decades. 

“The buzz cut is the basic boot camp haircut,” museum educator Joe Horvath says. “You get one when you enter, and you’ll get one several more times – even if you don’t need one.”

Horvath, who took photos of the event for the museum, spent four years in the Navy. He now has a set of thick, wavy locks, constrained on Saturday by a camouflage cap. 

Cody, a 14-year-old Boalsburg resident who also got his hair buzzed last year, was accompanied by his father James Laird. Like Horvath, Laird also served in the military and now enjoys the freedom to grow a full head of hair.

“I’ve earned my long hair,” Laird explains, having laughingly declined several offers to have his hair buzzed once Cody’s was finished. 

Despite Horvath’s and his father’s own lack of a buzz cut, Cody seemed pleased by his new look and looks forward to reactions from his family at an upcoming reunion.

“It’s a lot of fun to do this,” he says.

Wendy Wilson was the master of ceremonies for Saturday’s haircuts. Working out of a modified room dubbed “Wendy’s Barber Shop,” she says she hopes the tradition continues into a third year. 

“Last year my clippers were just burning up from doing buzz after buzz, one right after the other,” Wilson says.

Horvath says the decision to give museum attendees buzz cuts is, in part, a fun way to celebrate the first day of summer. He also hopes that it, along with other events throughout the summer, can help draw kids to the museum and create lifelong interest in history.

“Museums speak to all the time that’s passed,” Horvath said. “Without history, our nation’s children aren’t learning where they come from.”

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Michael Martin Garrett is a general assignment reporter for StateCollege.com, a graduate of Penn State and a published poet. He's also a musician who plays bass in an indie rock band.
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