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What will come of the ubiquitous Rayhawk?

Like smudged mascara, popped balloons or a headache that clouds the night before, it's a nagging reminder that the party's over.

The Rayhawk.

Now that the underdog adventure has ended, normal life and hairstyles are sure to follow. What will become of that chunk on top?

"You could do different colors, or, if it's real long, try cornrows," suggested barber John Green, co-owner of Legends Hair Studio for Men in St. Petersburg. "But there's not much you can do with a Mohawk. I would recommend cutting the middle down low, then let the rest grow out and just wear a Rays shirt."

Green mowed several hawks on Thursday for people he called "disappointed, but still real proud" — among them, 17-year-old Taj Green, no relation to the barber.

Taj got his Rayhawk the day after the Rays won the American League Championship Series.

"Time to let it go," he said.

Raymond Murray of the Beach Park Barber Shop in Tampa said he used to average 15 hawks daily — just a touch off the sides, sir — but not anymore. "It's been slow today," Murray said.

At least one barber remains optimistic about the future of the Rayhawk.

"I believe that people will continue to get them, and the people who got them will continue to maintain them," said Anthony Pierre, owner of Who's Next Barber Shop in Tampa.

He began giving free Rayhawks in early October. Alas, no one requested one on Thursday. A few people came in to get rid of them.

Pinellas County Commissioner Ronnie Duncan, publicly hawked with Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard last week, said he's sad to admit that a different cut is on the way. Hibbard was a step ahead of him.

"My wife just said, 'It's time,' " Hibbard said.

Jimmy Laramee, who owns a lawn service in St. Petersburg, isn't giving up so easily. When Laramee went for the hawk, he went all the way — blue on top and bare scalp on the sides.

He's hoping for a few more Rays parties, so he can put off his wife and mother-in-law's pleas to see a barber. But he'd have to turn into Mr. Clean to look normal, and he's not sure he's ready for that.

There will be no blending in for a while.

"But if there was ever a time to make myself look silly," he said, "this was it."

Kim Wilmath can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

What will come of the ubiquitous Rayhawk? 10/30/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 31, 2008 9:26pm]
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