On several occasions, he had mentioned (with increasing frequency it seems) that it was his studied and professional observation that "the chicks go for the clean-shaven guys." As time went on, he began to focus more and more on his beard as the source of his bachelorhood. Not one to make a decision in haste, Art gave the subject a lot of thought over the months.
Apparently, on one very warm spring morning in 2001 when we were all out in our cockpits or on the dock in our PJs, the pressure rose to the point where action was demanded.
Art hauled all his neglected shaving gear out on the dock, set up on his dock box, and proclaimed that he was going to change his situation. We, of course, all gathered round to offer support... and wisecracks. And we all took what would be the last pictures of Art in full flower.
First came the electric beard trimmer, pressed into service as a beard mower. The whiskers flew.
There was a brief moment of weakness when some consideration was given to the goatee look (what do you think?) But eventually, Art soldiered on, and it all came off.
Then the clean-up pass with a conventional razor removed all the logging stubble. It had been a long time since those cheeks had felt the touch of a razor, or the breeze for that matter.
The final result. What do you think? Was this an improvement that would make Art more attractive to the fairer sex?
Postscript: Six months later, Art was married.
Post Postscript: The beard is back.