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Don't trash the 'stache (or beard)
Shawn Hasson is kinda old timey for a young guy.
He wears a Gatbsy-style newsboy cap and a vest with shirtsleeves rolled and refers to people on the street as “fellas.” He's got a thing for beards and mustaches too — wears his in a handlebar, twirled up at the ends and paired with a thin beard that comes down to a point.
If you follow the World Beard and Mustache Championships, it's a variation of the Musketeer, says Hasson, a founding member of the Fresno Beard and Mustache Club, which will gather from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at Full Circle Brewing Company.
No, this is not a support group, and they won't be talking grooming habits or anything like that. It's just a bunch of guys (though girls are welcome, too) getting together to drink beers and talk beards — and 'staches.
If it seems a bit odd, many people take their facial hair seriously. England has had a Handlebar Club since the 1940s, Hasson says. Beard Team USA (of which the Fresno group is a member) competes in the world championships and made a scene this year when it beat out the Germans.
Even around town, Hasson says, you'll see a “fella” with an old cowboy 'stache or a beard down to his stomach, and you can tell he takes pride in it. And even the guys who are being silly — the hipsters with their “porn” 'staches — do it proudly, he says.
Anyway, once upon a time this is how men looked, says member Jon Appleby. He wears a full beard with a waxed mustache.
Appleby went to school in Clovis, where they aren't too keen on self expression through facial hair. That kept him clean and cropped through high school — though he was often sent home because his sideburns were too long. Since then, he's had just about every kind of facial hair.
He often gets comments from older women (like, over 60) who remember the beards of their husbands and fathers. So, there is a sense of history in it.
But mostly this is fellowship, Appleby says.
You grow some obscure facial hair. Then you get together and drink beer and maybe smoke your pipes and talk about it. Maybe, you have a few competitions to see whose will grow the longest, or the fastest, or the thickest. Mostly, you're just having fun.
And no, it's not just for the hirsute.
The group welcomes anyone who has a passion for beards and mustaches — even ladies.
If you can't grow your own, at least get creative and make a fake 'stache, Hasson says.
If you have to, draw one on. Sharpie is a bad idea, he says.
Eyeliner works fine.