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PCES student’s essay celebrates local barber

By Nicole Burns for the FCT


There’s a special bond between a man and his barber. Fourth grader Jake Morgan recently won a statewide contest for his essay about his barber, who does more than just cut his hair. Wallace Bragwell has watched Morgan grow into a young man and said the two talk about sports, Bragwell’s military service and life at every opportunity.

“I’ve been cutting Morgan’s hair, well, probably since his first haircut,” said Bragwell. “He’s going to be a good leader when he grows up.”

Bragwell said Morgan asks a lot of questions about his time in the Navy during the Vietnam War. ”I was a barber in the Navy, too. Jake wanted to let me know how much he appreciated my service,” said Bragwell.

The Phil Campbell Elementary student won the 2016 Alabama Gerontological Society’s Essay/Calendar contest, beating out students from across the state. The contest was sponsored by the Alabama Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Jake received a $50 reward for his essay and his PCES teacher, Mrs. Tracey Cook, received $100 to be used in her classroom.

Morgan chose Bragwell as the focus of his essay to highlight the special bond they’ve formed over the years. “It makes your head swell up a little,” said Bragwell. “I reckon you don’t think about a kid that age paying attention to the stories I tell him while he’s in my chair. He’s been raised to appreciate his elders and military veterans.”

When asked for the kind of advice Bragwell might pass along to his little buddy, he replied, “Keep doing what he’s doing. Appreciate what he’s got. He’s got good parents who keep him grounded and who stress getting a good education. And finally, continue to strive to be a good citizen, and you’ll make it in life.”