He was young, perhaps too young to leave us; to leave me. At a mere two months old Tom had lived so short, but burned so bright – bright like copper in the sun. We traveled the country together through mountains and valleys – through rain and sunshine. It is safe to say that Tom truly put the Wild into Project Wildness. Here’s to you my burly friend. May you find a better place than that small spot on my face you called home. 

On July 24 we entered the city of  looking for a barber. I (Shane) had made peace with my mustache, Tom, and was ready for a shave. No electronic shaver or dollar store razor would do – no, Tom was too strong for that now. I needed a straight razor shave. Like a samurai and his tanto, Tom had a dark destiny with a blade. The first barber we stopped at was not licensed to give straight razor shaves, but they took the liberty of calling every barber in town until finding someone who could do it. 

We made our way over to Hunter's Barber Shop. I walked in to verify the service and a man named Josh was in the middle of cutting his brother’s hair. I asked if he did straight razor shaves and he confirmed that he could. My next question was, “Would you mind if we filmed this for a documentary we are doing?” I explained to Josh and his brother what Project Wildness was and he thought it was pretty cool, but decided it would be better if his colleague, David, did the shave. 

A couple of phone calls and a dropped call later I was on the phone with David explaining to him what Project Wildness was and that I was hoping to get a straight razor shave while passing through town. He bought into the idea and said he’d be to the shop in a half hour. David and his wife arrived in no time ready to get to work. We chatted about Project Wildness while he prepped his equipment and my face. Before tackling Tom he asked me, “Are you sure? There is no going back after this.” I confirmed it was time and with that Tom, my mustache, a part of me, was gone. David cracked jokes to ease the loss as he effortlessly ran the straight edge across my face. 

When he was finished, David cleaned me off and sat my chair up. I turned to the mirror and saw a different person. I felt like I had lost a piece of my manhood. Nate suggested I didn’t have much to begin with which made the loss even greater. I asked David how much I owed him and he asked, “Well this is like a pay-it-forward type of thing right?” I responded, “Yes.” Without hesitation David said, “Then this shave is on me.” I couldn’t believe it and I didn’t expect it, but once again Project Wildness found good people. It took some effort for me to even tip him, but eventually he reluctantly accepted. Before leaving we shared some more stories and thoughts along with pictures and handshakes. 

To David… You had left work for the day when I walked into Hunter’s Barbershop. Without hesitation you drove a half hour back to work for a single shave. You walked me through the entire process and somehow made me feel comfortable with a stranger holding a very sharp blade to my face and throat. At the end of all your effort you didn’t even want compensation citing it as your contribution to our pay-it-forward cause. Thank you so much for the perfect shave and your incredible generosity. Keep doing good. 

Your time and talent are powerful gifts. Share them with someone. ‪#‎ProjectWildness‬