The Goff cousins Maxine and Merrill lived in the big Goff house along the highway in Dexter, Iowa. Their mother Tessie had died of the mumps when Merrill was four days old, so every summer they stayed with Tessie’s folks at Wichita, Iowa.
During the school year they lived in Dexter with their father and grandparents. Merrill was in his cousin Danny Wilson’s class in school and Maxine was the same age as Danny’s sister Darlene, so they spent a lot of time together.
One day Maxine came to the Wilsons’ kitchen door in tears. “What’s wrong, Maxine?” Leora could see that her niece had mighty short hair.
“Grandpa did this! He chopped off all my hair!” Maxine swiped at her tears. “I hate it!”
“It looks like he gave you a boy bob. It’s the new thing, Maxine.” Leora was her family’s barber, even for her husband. “I’ll bet Darlene would even like her hair cut this new way, wouldn’t you, Darlene?”
“Yes, we can be alike.” Darlene’s dark eyes gleamed.
“Maxine, let me even yours up a bit first.” Leora gathered up her scissors and comb, took a chair to the backyard, and set to work. Two nine-year-old girls were soon showing off their twin boy bobs.
From Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression, to be published late winter 2021.