Greg Hennes, 29, SE, partner in camera & lighting company
“Whether or not the hairy plume of fully bearded face is a strictly Portland phenomenon, I care not to proffer. Rather, I’ll make a broad generalization about the city I call home and why it makes conducive the opportunity for a wide range of men (even those who by any measure cannot be considered members of the BOB, Brotherhood of the Beard) to grow and sport facial hair. It is ?here, near the end of the Oregon Trail, where explorers from all walks of life came to seek a better life. The fruitful, silty soil of the Willamette Valley offered women and men, children and dogs (and oxen, according to the Oregon Trail video game), the perfect life. Under these conditions, little more than hoeing the soil and tending one’s flock was important—personal grooming habits and ?matters of hygiene took a distant second. Later, when the hippies arrived (which, incidentally, screwed everything up), they, too, didn’t care about grooming (or) their own stink.
“What we can take from this history ?lesson is that our ancestors’ utopian vision has manifested itself in the men of Oregon (and some women, too) being able to grow beards unencumbered. We have a populace and an electorate whose easy-like-Sunday-morning attitude allows all of those who are too lazy or cheap to buy a razor the good grace to go without one. Mostly I’ve grown ?a beard because I’m just too lazy to shave.”
Brush up on your facial hair history with our web exclusive: Whiskery History, Trendsetters of the Bearded Northwest.