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Boasting About Those Wearing Beards

Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.

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Benjamin Franklin McGrath, known by family, friends, and co-workers as Frank McGrath (February 2, 1903 – May 13, 1967), was an American television and film actor and stunt performer who portrayed the comical, optimistic cook with the white beard, "Charlie B. Wooster," on the western series Wagon Train for five seasons on NBC and then three seasons on ABC. McGrath appeared in all 272 episodes in the eight seasons of the series, which had ended its run only two years before his death. McGrath's Wooster character hence provided the meals and companionship for both fictional trail masters, Ward Bond as "Seth 'Major' Adams" and John McIntire as Christopher "Chris" Hale.

I was among the millions who enjoyed (a) glimpse of sheer hard work by both men and women of the train of wagons that journeyed from east to west to give people a new way of life that meant prosperity and happiness, but the chance of Indian attacks and other areas of concern was very high. In short, only the heartiest of men and women dared traveling to what some travelers said in one episode, "just like moving into the unknown."

Frank  McGrath (left)  and Ward Bond. Notice the contrast in their faces. McGrath was "Charlie Wooster" and Bond was "Major Seth Adams" on Wagon Train.

Frank McGrath (left) and Ward Bond. Notice the contrast in their faces. McGrath was "Charlie Wooster" and Bond was "Major Seth Adams" on Wagon Train.

Say Hello to

Daniel Francis Haggerty (November 19, 1941 – January 15, 2016) was an American actor, best known for playing the title role in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams. Although this piece has nothing to do with Haggerty's series, I will say, (without gest), that his show was one of the best shows in the history of NBC. I say this with plenty of candor.

There's not a whole lot of background with Haggerty, but look again.

Anyone who would be bold (or idiotic enough) to say, "I don't see nothing," is very idiotic because right there on Haggerty's face grew one of the best-looking beards that God ever gave to a human being. And that same segment of truth can be said about Frank McGrath. Both of the men in this piece, to me, were very important to the life blood of Hollywood's entertainment business.

The late Dan Haggerty who starred in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.

The late Dan Haggerty who starred in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.

The Importance of Beards

to yours truly is not an easy task. When you might be checking-out at the grocery store and standing right behind you is a tall, muscular man with a full-beard, you could find yourself being intimidated by his presence. A beard does all of the talking when worn by menfolk. I cannot attest to the validity of the women who would own up to trying to grow a beard.

Beards look stately and they give the wearer the image of being with a high I.Q. And in some cases, this is true, but as rules are made to be broken, there are some who are just plain lazy and cannot pull themselves out of bed each morning to shave, so the lazy bums just let their facial hair grow until it almost covers their faces. In some of (these) cases, when the beard overtakes the face of the wearer, it is a plus for society.

Professors, doctors, and noted writers mostly wear a nicely-trimmed beard. Sure, there are the men who swear by their mustache, but I am talking about how valuable the beard is, not how cute a man’s handlebar mustache looks when he has filled up on whiskey at the yearly family reunion and is up signing “My Wild Irish Eyes,” to those who claim to be related to him. Beards, even in the most-embarrassing moments, can be life-savers.

Now to Offer Solid Proof of

those who look stately, highly-respected, and admired when wearing a full-beard:

Frank “Charlie Wooster” McGrath

Dan “Grizzly Adams” Haggerty.

(R.I.P. to Haggerty and McGrath, by the way).

Orson Wells,

Elliott “Trapper John McIntyre” Gould, in the film, M*A*S*H.

Will “Grandpa Zebulon Walton” Geer.

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Ken “Festus” Curtis of Gunsmoke.

Now to Offer Solid Proof of

those who look awkward, out-of-place, and timid when wearing a full-beard:

Don “Maxwell Smart”Adams.

Alan “Hawkeye” Alda.

Roy Rogers.

Richard Boone..

Vince “Ben Casey” Edwards.

Harry “Col. Potter” Morgan.

Ed Harris.

David Jensen.

Truthfully speaking, I could have went on and on with each list, but I think that I made my point. And the bottom line is this: (I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings), there are those who look suave, smart, and strong when wearing a full-beard, and sadly, there are those who do not look that well when they try to grow a full-beard.

I can recall growing my first full-beard in the year of 1981 and I grew quite attached to it (no pun intended). Wearing a full-beard (for me) saved me a world of time each morning when I would get ready for work. I never really took the time to count how many minutes that wearing a beard saved me, but I am sure that it was over ten minutes.

Strange, Almost-Scary Facts About Beards:

  • If you will notice closely when you are watching the CBS hit of yesteryear: Perry Mason, you will be surprised to notice that NO ONE, including Mason, is wearing a full-beard. This is also true for William “Paul Drake” Hopper; Ray “Lt. Tragg” Collins and William “Hamilton Burger” Talman. These guys’ faces were as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  • Clayton “The Lone Ranger” Moore and Jay “Tonto” Silverhills never wore full-beards. Even the notorious Indian chief, Geronimo never wore a beard. Not even Al Capone, the head of what was once the largest criminal syndicate in the United States did not sport a beard—in fact, he loved to splurge on expensive haircuts and shaves and even the late John “Teflon Don” Gotti never wore a beard.

Facts are facts. There is absolutely nothing magical or voodoo-related when it comes to a beard. I think that it’s all in the way that those around men who wear beards perceive them. I would say that since Jesus, a Nazarite Jew, who it was prophesied “and there shall be no razor touch His face,” so He wore a beard as well as long hair . . .

But that is for another story. And since I do not have any hair to comb or wash, “that” story, when published, should be short and sweet.

September 13, 2018_______________________________

© 2018 Kenneth Avery

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