It was more purple than pink, but no one cared.

It was worth their pennies and dollars to see Hobert Jones, a Garden Manor Retirement Village resident, transform from a Santa Claus look-alike to — in his words — “a grape head” in less than an hour.

Last month, while playing cards with residents and staff members, Jones, 53, said he would get his hair and beard cut for a certain amount of money. If the donations to the American Red Cross reached a higher level, he would have his locks shaped into a Mohawk and dyed pink.

Residents raised $320 and the retirement center added $200, pushing the total to $520.

The money will be donated to the Red Cross and earmarked for victims of the Joplin tornado.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Fireside Lounge, as the song “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” played on the CD player, beautician Sandy Kimberlin grabbed a pair of hedge trimmers off the table.

She was half kidding.

A few minutes later, there was a pile of gray hair at Jones’ feet.

“You got ears,” one resident said.

“Oh, my gosh,” another said.

By the time Kimberlin finished cutting off Jones’ beard — revealing part of a face no resident had ever seen — one woman deadpanned: “This is about the best show we’ve ever had here.”

When Kimberlin put on her latex gloves — “I practice safe color,” she said — silence fell over the room. Then she squeezed the bottle, and Jones’ hair — at least what was left — turned a deep purple.

“That’s just his color,” a woman whispered.

Later, after Kimberlin dried and sprayed Jones’ hair, a female resident asked: “Do you have a date tonight?”

“No,” he said.

Then another woman said: “How do you know?”

On the first day of summer, he looked more ready for Halloween.

“Forget the motorcycle,” one man said. “You’re ready for a skateboard.”

Cindy Ferguson, activity director, grabbed a mirror and showed Jones his new hairdo.

“This will either make me or break me,” said Kimberlin, who owns and operates Sandy’s Kreative Kurl beauty shop in Middletown.

She’s been cutting hair for 42 years, and she said it was the first purple Mohawk in her career.

Jones said he started growing his mustache about 20 years ago, and his beard about 15 years ago.

Hair today, gone tomorrow.

“No big deal,” said Jones, a retired radiation scientist. “It’ll grow back.”

Shave and a haircut

Hobert Jones, a resident of Garden Manor Retirement Village in Middletown, Ohio, agreed to the following actions based on the amount of money donated to the American Red Cross in honor of the tornado victims in Joplin:

• $25: Buzz cut.

• $50: Buzz cut and beard trim.

• $75: Mohawk and beard trim.

• $100: Pink Mohawk and beard trim.

• $150: Spiked pink Mohawk and beard trim.

• $200: Pink Mohawk and no beard.

• $300: Spiked pink Mohawk, shaved beard, shaved mustache.

• $500: Cue ball, shaved beard, shaved mustache.

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