This is my father’s mother’s mother’s father — which makes him my great-great grandfather — John Weiry Rudisill, in his Confederate States of America uniform, and his ‘fearsome’ beard, which apparently he sported until his death April 24, 1885.  Rudisill is an Americanization of the Swiss German Rüdisühli or Rüedisüli.

Once in my own lifetime I hosted a beard just this impressive in its own right.  One day, however, something told me its time had come and I marched to the mirror with a pair of scissors and it was gone.  I was surprised at how easy it was to part with.  Today I know that I am far too neurotic for a beard.

Looking at the photo of John Rudisill, Stephen says I have the same cruel eyes.  Another picture from my ‘Media’ trove puts the lie to that.

Cruel eyes!  What a lot of nonsense…