Teacher sheds locks for cancer patients – Empty Nest, by Curt Swarm

EMPTY NEST- BY CURT SWARM

“Nurtured and pampered by parents who didn’t want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, millennials are confident, ambitious and achievement oriented. They also have high expectations…tend to seek new challenges…and aren’t afraid to question authority.” The Balance Careers.
28 year old Derrick White, a music teacher at Pekin CSD, walked into Mirror Image Salon in Mt. Pleasant, with his fiancee, Cloey Goedkin, a science teacher at Winfield-Mt. Union Community School, sat down in a chair, and had salon owner Tammy Mumme remove his below shoulder length, strawberry blonde, gorgeous locks. Cloey became misty eyed. She had never seen Derrick with short hair, except in pictures. In fact, they just recently had their engagement pictures taken with Derrick sporting long hair. Their intention is to have Derrick in short hair for the wedding. However, with their wedding date set for July 31, 2021, close to a year away, we’ll see how long his hair is for the wedding. He hadn’t had it cut, except for trimming, since 2016.
Derrick White before.
Derrick White after. Even as a small child Derrick wanted to donate his hair to cancer victims, but his mother wouldn’t let him. So he waited until he was older. His brother’s wife, when she was a junior in high school, had a malignant brain tumor. Derrick’s ultimate goal is to help someone in need.
Cloey has been going to the Mirror Image Salon for a couple of years. She mentioned to Tammy Mumme that Derrick wanted to donate his hair. Tammy, a cancer survivor herself, jumped at the opportunity. She has performed the service for others, and recommended Wigs For Kids because they are a non-profit organization that does not charge recipients for the real-hair wigs.
Yes, Derrick doesn’t look 28, with or without long hair. He’s used to being confused with the kids he teaches at Pekin and receives a lot of ribbing because of his youthful looks. (It just means people like him.) Derrick is also used to being thought of as a female when people walk up behind him. But it doesn’t bother him. He’s a millennial. Cloey admits that Derrick has more hair care products than she has. And his hair is thicker.
From Oregon, Derrick graduated from Graceland University in Lamoni with a degree in music. How did he get to Lamoni from Oregon? His church sponsors Graceland, and both of his parents met and graduated from Graceland. His “go-to instruments” are the piano and trombone, although he picks up the trumpet frequently. He also teaches choir at Pekin even though he has had very little formal training in choir. He has a beautiful voice that ranges from tenor to bass without cracking.
Cloey is from Lamont and graduated from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon with a degree in biology. She then received her teaching degree from Upper Iowa University in Fayette. Although you might think Derrick is non-traditional because of his flowing locks, he is very traditional in courtship. He asked Cloey’s father for permission to marry Cloey. Her father gave permission on one condition—Derrick was not to move Cloey out of Iowa. Derrick readily agreed.
Hair cut complete, Derrick’s locks are in a bundle. Cloey fondles them one last time. But that gorgeous hair is going to a good cause, and someone else will benefit greatly. It’s debatable whether Derrick looks better in short hair or long. Some people look good no matter what.
Tammy Mumme doesn’t charge Derrick for cutting his hair. A cancer patient is being helped.
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com.

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