Me and Vidal, separated by an ‘e’
In honor of the dashing Vidal Sassoon, who had the best hairstyle in his heyday?
Updated: May 17, 2012 4:00PM
No condolences necessary.
Not to me, anyway.
For years, people have been asking me if I am related to Vidal Sassoon. The hair-care magnate, as the Washington Post called him, died May 9 at age 84.
Other than that his last name and my last name start with a Sass, there was no relationship.
People always laugh when they ask about the name. I could never figure out why. If they had been paying attention they would have noticed that the names are not spelled or pronounced alike. That’s kind of a clue that two guys aren’t related, if they don’t have the same name.
People then would commiserate — “Too bad you’re not related. You’d be rich.’’
And lucky for me, most people don’t know what Vidal Sassoon looked like. One obituary described him as “trim and dashing.’’
Those are not words I hear being applied to me. I’m more the portly and stumbling kind than the trim and dashing kind.
Yes, I have hair.
Some hair. It’s getting pretty sparse and now it’s all white.
I haven’t really given much of a hoot about my hair since I was a youngster and thought I had arranged my hair to transform me into the exact double of James Dean. But looking at old family photos, I realize now I looked more like a homely, pint-sized Desi Arnaz than James Dean.
Oh, I grew my hair longish in the 1960s — saved money on haircuts.
And in the 1970s I sported a beard — less shaving. The beard was kind of clumpy, though. And I shaved it off when someone told me I looked like the Wolfman.
But Mr. Sassoon knew better. He knew hair is important to millions, how it looks and how it lasts. He linked hair care, beauty care and good health. And he made a fortune.
I wouldn’t have minded being related to such a smart man at all. And I say that without any hope of being mentioned in the will.
Not related to Siegfried
Sassoon, the British poet, either. Don’t know if he and Vidal are related, though. That’s their business, not mine. Different family, you know.
As for the Sassones. There are a lot of them (the name means “saxon’’ in Italian). Just Google the name and you come up with a bunch. Most aren’t relatives of mine, but some are. My brother Mike is a fine actor; my brother Tim, a well-known sportswriter; and my sister Sharon is a produced playwright.
Me? I’m neither trim nor dashing.