My parents Lois and Big Vince had three children before I was born - all girls. When I arrived the morning of March 8, 1971, their dream had finally come a true – a boy! I was to be their last child and their only son, not to mention the last of the family name. Little did Mom and Dad know they now basically had four girls.
I was their pride and joy, named after my father and my grandfather. My grandfather was Vincent James, my father was Vincent Jr. and I was crowned Vincent James II. The family name would now live on, tradition would stand and I too would have a son one day and name him Vincent James III…or at least that was the plan.
By the time I was one-year’s old, I had bold, beautiful cerulean eyes and the most sublime curly blonde hair. I was absolutely adorable, if I can say so myself! My mother thought so as well, as she proudly paraded me around the neighborhood in my carriage; however the reaction she received from others wasn’t always one she had anticipated.
“Oh Lois, look at her. She’s beautiful.”
“Lois! The baby is adorable, what’s her name?”
“Another girl, oh my you have your hands full. What’s her name?”
Did these people know something Lois didn’t? “His name is Vincent,” my mother would always snap back. But it was an easy mistake…everyone knew Lois had a few girls and with those beautiful, long, flowing blonde curls, it was hard to tell.
Always looking out for my best interest, my parents decided to put an end it once and for all during the summer of 1972 and finally took me to see Enzio, the local Italian barber.
Enzio was an old school Italian, fresh off the boat from Italy; he owned the local barbershop in our neighborhood and specialized in two types of cuts – the crew cut and the Italian slick back. This was the man my mother decided should be responsible for my very first makeover?
From the photos, it appears as if I was thrilled to see Enzio or maybe I was just enamored by my own image in the wall of mirrors before me? (Some things never change.) However, once Enzio put the clippers to my head the elation evaporated. I started to cry and my mother even had to hold my head. (Still to this day, I hate getting my haircut; I have little faith in my stylist’s skills and always fear for the worst. I wonder why?)
I’m sure I was wondering why my parents would allow this strange man to shave my head and rob me of my precious curls. Everyone loved them after all! Did they have any idea how difficult it would be and how long it would take to grow them back? What were they thinking?
However, when it was all over there would be no more thinking required. I was definitely a boy, no doubt about it! My parents solved that dilemma pretty well and all was fine…until I started to speak.