This Saturday, Aug. 31, will mark the end of an era -- it's Louie Smolensky's Last Haircut for MDA, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at C&R Bar on Coleman Avenue in Waveland.
People have been "cutting up" with Smolensky all his life, but for the past 40 years, it has been for a good cause, the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"Forty years, that's a long-time," Smolensky's friend and fellow MDA volunteer Alfred "Tiger" Harris said. "A lot of the people who get their hair cut now haven't even been around that long."
"It's been a good experience," Smolensky said this week. 'I've learned a lot from it over the years, and I've met a lot of great people along the way."
Smolensky well-known on the Coast for many things, including serving several years as a Waveland alderman; the decades he spent selling cars for DeRussy motors and other dealerships; and the charitable work he performs with the Waveland Civic Association or American Legion Post 77. However, he's perhaps best known for his long, luxurious mane of silver-white hair, which he clips just once a year in order to raise money for children.
"I started fundraising for MDA in 1979," Smolensky said, "I started with Jimmy Lagasse and the Waveland Civic Association. Before, I just raised money with the WCA, answering phones, running around and getting donations during the Labor Day telethons. Then I had to do something new."
One day while hanging out at the lounge at the old Holiday Inn (at the corner of Hwy. 90 and Hwy. 603), Louie asked bar patrons for ideas for a new fundraiser. .Apropos of nothing, he said, Marlin Torgesun said, 'Hey, Louie! Why don't you get a hair cut?'"
And a fundraiser was born. For the next few decades, Louie and a handful of others started getting their heads shaved every Labor Day weekend.
Patrons bid money for each volunteer to get his or her head shaved, along with beards, eyebrows, etc. Sometimes the bidding gets fierce. Sometimes the patrons end up getting convinced to shave their heads, too.
"It's all for a good time and a great cause," Smolensky said.
Part of the "good time" will include barbecue chicken or pulled pork sandwich plates, C&R owner Nadine Brown said. Plates will be $10 each and include two sides, either potato salad or coleslaw or baked beans and mac & cheese. You can eat in or carry out. Proceeds will go to the MDA.
There will also be raffles and a silent auction.
To donate or for more information, call 228-231-1018 after 3 p.m.