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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Pasadena

Bald and Beautiful

Friends: Bailiff, deputies shave their heads in show of support for colleague who has cancer.

November 06, 1998|NANCY TREJOS

Pasadena court bailiff Hans Wedel put a lot of effort, and gel, into making his hair look good. He loved having big hair.

Now, he has no hair to love.

Wedel, along with 18 other bailiffs and security guards at the courthouse, have shaved their heads to show support for sheriff's Deputy Donald Dutton, who lost his hair to chemotherapy.

Dutton, a 41-year-old father of three who was found to have cancer in July, was bald when he returned to work in October after taking time off for treatment.

After he told the bailiff and security guard friends that he felt self-conscious, several of them took a vow: Although they could not cure his cancer, they could shave their heads to show solidarity.

Deputy Larry Ramage quickly appointed himself barber. He went home for lunch, returned with a pair of electric clippers and persuaded five colleagues to shave their heads in the locker room.

He shaved a few more heads every day until four out of five security guards and 15 of 18 bailiffs now sport hairless heads.

"We went ahead and did it and cried afterward," Wedel said jokingly.

Because of Dutton's reputation, it didn't take too much arm-twisting. "He's never sour, never in a bad mood, always smiling," Ramage said. The men were most concerned about how their wives and girlfriends would react.

Dutton, who still has a tumor in his kidney, said he was surprised when he was confronted by six bald men.

"It made me feel good that they were willing to sacrifice," Dutton said. "Something like this made me feel that there is a personal unity among us."

And of course, having 19 other bald men walking around the courthouse has made him feel more comfortable.

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