Iolan avoids close shaves

Register City Editor

Register/Bob Johnson
Andy Dunlap is one of 11 Iolans competing in the beard growing contest in celebration of Iola’s sesquicentennial. Others may join. Judging is Oct. 17.

Andy Dunlap is one of 11 Iolans participating in the Iola Sesquicentennial Beard Growing Contest.
“I hope others join in,” said Dunlap, a member of the sponsoring Iola Kiwanis Club. “Doesn’t take much effort. It saves a little time each day, particularly for me. I’m a picky shaver.”
Dunlap shaved last on Aug. 3, right after he and wife Yvonne celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. He waited until then, Dunlap said, because he was certain that she wouldn’t have been fond of photos from the monumental event with even the hint of a five-o’clock shadow.
Dunlap is uncertain whether he will maintain a full beard until judging is done Oct. 17 during Farm-City Days.
“I’ll probably trim it some before then,” he said, recalling that in 1961, during the Kansas Centennial, he grew a beard that he fashioned to look like Abe Lincoln’s. “Frankly, without too much success.”
How full he permits the beard also likely will be determined by how much gray overwhelms darker whiskers.
“I’ll just have to wait a while and see what’s there,” Dunlap, an Iola accountant, said.
To date, the facial growth hasn’t been much of a problem.
“I’ve had a little itchiness,” Dunlap said. “I’ve been told that baby oil will help with that, but I haven’t tried it. Baby oil is less appealing for me than putting up with a little itch.”

ENTRY in the beard growing contest remains open and no deadline likely is to be imposed.
Dunlap noted that since there was a fuzzy start division, for those who already had a beard, as well as another for a clean-face start, a deadline didn’t seem necessary.
Beards will be judged as best overall, most original, longest and worst effort. Judging criteria will be length, fullness, style and sophistication and general manliness. First place winners will get $25 cash and ribbons will go to the first three places in each category.
Applications for the contest are available at the Iola Area Chamber of Commerce office. There could be no greater excuse to put away the razer than to help drum up enthusiasm in celebration of Iola’s 150th birthday, Dunlap said.
In addition to real beards, kids 6 and under may create beards from mud on judging day in downtown Iola.
Dunlap’s young grandsons, Foster, 3, and Paul, 18 months, prompted him to encourage Kiwanis members to include the division. The boys are the sons of Bryan and Michelle Dunlap, Jefferson City, Mo.
“They were playing in their backyard and their parents took a picture of them with mud on their faces, and Paul’s looked like a beard,” Dunlap said. “He even said it was ‘just a beard.’”
Kiwanians jumped at the opportunity to add the category for males not yet old enough to grow the real thing.