By Geoffrey Paul
February 5, 2009
Americans? You gotta love 'em. I loved one enough to marry her. But you must also agree that they boast more eccentrics than most among their number. An example is 79-year old Milton Sterman. On the day George W. Bush was re-elected for his second term, Milton vowed he would not have his hair cut so long as there was a Republican in the White House. With George W. gone and Obama elected, Milton had no choice but to submit to an upsherin, the name given to the ceremony in the ultra-Orthodox, usually chasidic community, when a boy receives his first haircut at the age of 3. Members of Congregation Beth Ami, Milton's Santa Rosa, California, Reform community, together with friends and family, gathered recently for what was advertised as a “schnip and schnor” session. For donations to charity varying from $1 to $10, they could snip an appropriately sized lock of Milton's unruly, long white hair. So many turned out for the privilege of shearing this bold soul, that $1000 was raised. According to the Jewish News of Northern California, where I read this epic tale, Milton'now rejoices in the fact that “Everyone says, when I take my hat off, that I look 10 years younger!” As I was saying, you gotta love 'em.