By Tim Linscott
Call it a reversal of slogans.
Ivan Regier of Madrid has long used the saying he was the ‘Man with the upside down face,’ meaning he had hair on his face and not the top of his head.
For Regier, that is no longer the case as he shaved his signature beard last week.
After visiting a dermatologist, Regier decided to shave his beard.
“He needed to take a look at my skin and couldn’t see through the beard. I decided to surprise him by shaving,” Regier said.
The facial hair actually protected his face, according to Regier, giving a nod to the power of the beard.
The doctor wasn’t the only person surprised by Regier’s new look. He noted a long list of people on Facebook commented on his lack of facial hair.
“The funniest was someone said, ‘Shave it back on,’” Regier said.
Even entering the Grant Tribune-Sentinel office recently prompted a double take from staff.
The topic of shaving was a lively one at the Grant Lion’s Club meeting on April 9, the first meeting Regier attended with his new look.
“Some people say I look 20 years younger,” Regier said, adding that his wife, Ann, isn’t too shocked by the look as he has shaved it periodically through the years.
Deciding to wear the beard on a full-time basis came in 1969 when Regier drove a dozer 400 miles to help move snow in South Dakota. He worked in eight hour shifts moving snow in the freezing temperatures and decided to grow out his beard as a means of staying warm.
“In those conditions you’d do just about anything to stay warm, so I grew out my beard,” Regier said, adding he had grown it out for a brief time before that for a role in a play, but the look was short-lived.
After returning home from South Dakota, Regier decided it would be easier to keep the beard than try to remember to shave.
As for growing the beard back, it is a possibility.
“I’ll probably forget to shave and it will be back,” Regier said.
He thinks of the time he’s saved over the years not shaving.
“I think about the hours of not screwing up my face looking in the mirror shaving over the years,” Regier said. “I am not sure if I’ve saved days or months.”
Regier spent last weekend surprising his grandson, who has not seen him without a beard.