It might not look like he went all that far when you hear that the
total distance was about 1 foot, but if you add that it took every
day of 18 months, maybe that puts a different perspective on it.
What did he do? He looked like a "beatnik" with long hair.
What does that mean? you may be asking.
Well, you have to go back to the Oct. 11, 2005, Cosmic Bowl for
youth. O'Neill hosts this annual event to hear what is on the minds
of our youth. He invites legislators and local authorities to come
interact and have fun with the youth also.
A young girl called O'Neill in advance to ask if she could come
to the event, since it was promoted for local youth and she lived in
Nicole came and introduced herself to O'Neill during the event.
After talking and sharing about themselves for a bit, she said to
O'Neill, "You probably wouldn't believe this about me, but I've been
O'Neill said that he asked if there was anything he could do for
She whipped off her wig off and said, "Yes, you can grow your
hair for Locks of Love," a program that takes human hair and makes
wigs for children cancer patients. (Locks
of Love program)
O'Neill didn't hesitate and said that he would.
They continued to talk, and he learned about her goals in life.
She wanted to play volleyball and do cheerleading, then to graduate
from high school and go on to become a lawyer. "I'm not going to let
it beat me," she told him.
O'Neill was humbled when she said that she thought he was a
terrific role model. He said that she was really a role model for
It wasn't until the next day as he looked into the Locks of Love
requirements that he discovered he would need to grow his hair to
measure 12 inches for the cut.
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As his hair grew, he regretted that he no longer had his Harley,
and in fact was a collared shirt-and-tie kind of guy now. When his
hair began to get long and a little out of place in the roles he was
doing now, he distributed letters to the media to make known to the
public the reason for his hippy look.
O'Neill said that he chose Rachel Zamrazil of Zamrazil & Company
to do the cut because, like himself, she is also a big animal lover.
A picture of her dog sits at her station.
With the tail cut off and the clippers buzzing, O'Neill
reflected, "Life is rough enough. We all need someone to stand
Nicole did not want to be a part of the media blitz this week.
But O'Neill relayed joyfully that the cancer is in remission; she
has done all the things that she wanted to do along the way and will
be going to college next fall, still following her dream to become a
O'Neill said that he has been amazed at what he has had the
opportunity to do in his life. He's overcome many handicaps that
normally wouldn't allow someone like him to be an elected official
or to do other many of the other things that he's done. He's had
many physical challenges, including arthritis, spinal surgeries and
just this week had to have all his teeth removed because of getting
hit in the face with a ball a few years ago.
He believes in being open and honest, and puts his whole heart
into doing things for others.
Currently he is being followed around by a videographer, Heather
Otto, to put his current life experiences on tape to send to a
publisher. The publisher would like to have a book and possible
movie done on his life.
Always looking to help our young people in any way he can,
O'Neill is looking forward to the next Cosmic Bowl, set to be held
at Logan Lanes from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on May 12. He hopes there will be
another great turnout.