There was no question as to who Mr. September should be. He is one of the greatest of the greats! He is the legend - Aarne Bielefeldt. I first saw him at the National Championships in 2011 and he was a hit! While in awe of his beard at the competition, I took some great pictures of his beard so it was only a matter of time until he claimed this Beard of the Month title! Aarne is an engineer at the moment but has also worked in electronics and solar electric power. He has owned several of his own businesses but is now an independent contracting consultant that specializes in off grid solar power. This beardo is a trained recording engineer in both studio and live. He was a radio station program director and has produced a show on European Electronica and underground dance of the 80's and 90's for many years. Aarne is also a musician and calls himself an "eternal student of baroque music on the harpsichord"(the instrument Johann Sebastian Bach played). If he isn't playing music he claims the title of "shutterbug", and especially enjoys capturing great beards. Well Aarne, you are one awesome guy and I know everyone loves seeing you all over the place with your tremendous beard! Thanks for being Mr. September, you more than fill the shoes!
Name: Aarne Bielefeldt
How long have you been growing your beard?: I started growing my beard as soon as it grew on me but I sometimes did "style" it this or that way and I was never comletely shaven. My first big style at age 19 was the "friendly mutton chops". I never shaved my moustache. Later came along the "fu manchu" which I grew so scarily long that I trimmed it as it never stopped growing. After growing full natural through the 90s me and my wife lapsed into a silly and short lasting period of short beardedness and cutting our long hair for the inexplicable reason of us being tired of all the long hair in the early 2000s. This spell lasted until 03 when I was thoroughly tired of the maintenance and silly styles (to me) and started to let it grow for good.
Why are you growing your beard?: What I discovered was that shaving is a bad thing. It causes irritation, itching (yes!) and, hah! it is a lot of work. My beard grows wildly to the side in a circular fashion like a hurricane on the weather map and when it reaches 5" or so it magically straightens out. At this point it is hard to make the beard look good with trims so a terminal beard was born out of my preference for a natural looking beard.
Have you won or placed in any competitions?: My first win was a third place at a small contest in Olympic Village in Squaw Valley, Nevada, where the Winter Games were held in 1960. This was after years of not being able to move with a back injury which was surgically helped in 07, improving my ability to go to these events which I have been trying to go to since 05. I have won the first Beard Team USA National title in Full Beard in 2010, First place 2011 at the Austin Texas Beard and Moustache competition. Second lace at the German International competition in 2011, the "Longest" Title in Carson for 4 years in a row and the longest title in Vegas this year in 2012. Best full for Petaluma for 3 years and many second and third places since 07. And then I started entering Freestyle with my "Octo" beard, something I have been wanting to do since 09. This year I competed in Freestyle the first time starting at the West Coast Championships in Portland in January this year. so far I have won First Place 9 times at major competitions including the much coveted German international Title.
How did you find out about the bearding community?: I discovered the Beard community in 03, just too late to take part in the World Championship then in Carson City. As I was disabled to actually go I became active in an online beard community actively supporting and mentoring other young beards with what I was learning. meanwhile my beard didn't stop to grow.
Do you belong to any beard club?: I am the president and founder of the Terminal Length Beard Club and am also a member of the Austin Facial Hair Club.
Is shaving anywhere in your future(I hope not!)?: Absolutely not. The absolute worst case would be a trim to the bottom of my beard by accident!
What is the best compliment your beard has received?: And elderly lady in a wheelchair politely ask to touch it and told me I look the way I should and it is beautiful and her eyes were glowing with happiness. She was very gentle. I met another lady in New York who found my table at a restaurant after seeing me walk by and she though I was a fairy ghost and she had to come over to see if I was real and to her complete satisfaction after a gentle touch she confirmed that I was indeed totally authentic. There has been many positive moments with my beard and others so its hard to single out any single event but these were memorable.
Are there any competitions that we can find you at in the near future?: Planning to be a many more in the future, including the British championships this month. Petaluma Whiskerino. Carson City Nevada Days competition, Lone Star competition in Dallas, the Beard Team USA National Championship in Las Vegas and many more.
Congratulations to Aarne, our September 2012 Beard Of The Month! If you are interested in throwing your beard in the ring, contact us here.