Twin Boybobs, 1930

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. 

Dexter School, 1930. Cousins Danny Wilson and Merrill Goff are center front. Darlene Wilson is second from the left in the second row, with Maxine Goff at the end of the same row.

     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.

Wilson and Goff cousins: Danny Wilson, Merrill and Maxine Goff, Delbert (behind) and Doris Wilson with baby Connie Goff, Junior, Donald, Darlene, and Dale Wilson. Maxine and Darlene have new boybobs. I wonder whether Doris’s is cut the same way. (I think Grandfather did Merrill’s buzz, as I never saw a photo of Leora’s boys with one!) 1930, Dexter, Iowa

From Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression, to be published late winter 2021.

5 comments

    • This one sure landed in my lap, didn’t it! Someone pointed out that it looks like Doris got also got a new haircut. You know, Mom probably told me the story, but she didn’t include herself in it. People are sending photos of themselves with those “bowl cuts,” one also done by his grandfather!

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