I started growing a mustache (and beard) almost immediately upon my arrival as a freshman at Wesleyan University in the fall of 1970.  It was my (mild-mannered) declaration of independence from home and high school.   I believe that I have shaved my upper lip just three times in the past fifty years, and each of those times the mustache reappeared relatively quickly, usually at the insistence of my wife. 

© 2003 Steven E. Cutts 
a Studio C recording in October 2006


When I was seventeen, I dreamed of growing hair upon my upper lip; I’d get a mustache going there. 

The other guys would envy me with jealousy, and I’d get all the girls! 

Finally on my own, no rule to tell me “No,” I put my razor down – I just let it grow: 

My emblem of virility’s ability, like Sampson and his curls. 

“What a great mustache!” I was hoping folks would say; my girlfriend called it “fuzzy” and “absurd.” 

But that first mustache lived to see another day; I ditched the girl and vowed to grow an even better great mustache! 

It did not disappear; it kind of grew on me.  Not just that boyhood dream – not just some novelty  

A fashion statement in its hairy self and a herald of the times. 

For a while I waxed the ends – handle bars all sticking out. Sometimes a Fu Manchu – little hairs all turning south. 

Then other times a goatee would emerge as a mustache redefined. 

My great mustache -- it kept hanging round, growing fuller bit by bit. 

My great mustache -- instead of going underground, It persevered and gradually matured into a great mustache. 

The few times that I’ve dated to go without my masquerade, 

I’ve shaved it off and checked it out and always been dismayed. 

I admit the color’s changed as time has rolled along.  For a while I tried to say that it was going blonde, 

But there are truths so obvious and transparent hair color can’t disguise! 

Oh, my gray mustache --  it has been a life-long friend, my silver fur accessory. 

I think my gray mustache will probably be here ‘til the end --

Not exactly womb to tomb, but still it’s been a great mustache.