Caption: Paul Crowley (L) and his friend Anthony Bravo Esparza (R)
Paul Crowley (L) and his friend Anthony Bravo Esparza (R) 

StoryCorps: Paul Crowley and Anthony Bravo Esparza

From: StoryCorps
Series: StoryCorps
Length: 01:50

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Paul Crowley talks with his friend and fellow veteran Anthony Bravo Esparza, who calls himself "Dreamer," about the free haircuts he gives in a VA Hospital parking lot. Read the full description.

Esparza_small

Many veterans seek out the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital in hopes of feeling better. Thanks to Anthony Bravo Esparza — known to his friends as “Dreamer” — those veterans often end up looking better, too.

Since the 1970s, Dreamer, a veteran himself, has been giving free haircuts to vets.

He can be found in a red, white, and blue painted trailer parked at the VA, where he averages about 200 haircuts a month.

Last year, Paul Crowley showed up looking for a trim. Today, he’s Dreamer’s assistant.

At StoryCorps, the pair sat down to speak about their friendship.

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Piece Description

Many veterans seek out the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital in hopes of feeling better. Thanks to Anthony Bravo Esparza — known to his friends as “Dreamer” — those veterans often end up looking better, too.

Since the 1970s, Dreamer, a veteran himself, has been giving free haircuts to vets.

He can be found in a red, white, and blue painted trailer parked at the VA, where he averages about 200 haircuts a month.

Last year, Paul Crowley showed up looking for a trim. Today, he’s Dreamer’s assistant.

At StoryCorps, the pair sat down to speak about their friendship.

Broadcast History

NPR's Morning Edition 2/24/12

Transcript

Paul Crowley (PC): When I showed up, I was washed.

Anthony Bravo Esparza (ABE): Yeah, you’d been drinkin’.

PC: I was totally out of hope. And part of that was the way I looked. I hadn’t shaved in a couple of weeks; my hair was filthy and scraggly. But, getting the haircut made me feel, for lack of a better word, normal–which I hadn’t in a long, long time.

ABE: When I first ran into you, I saw a guy that could at some point, rise above it. And I just felt that, I can help ya. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Never underestimate the power of a haircut.” Of course, he never said that, but he should’ve said it.

PC: I try to help you out.

ABE: Yeah.

PC: And, I mean, I’m not cutting hair, but when I’m there at the trailer, I’ve watched a guy that just came right off the streets, not doing too well, and the only thing he has to pay you with is an orange.

ABE: Whatever you got, we’ll make a de...
Read the full transcript

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

Time again for StoryCorps.

This project is recording conversations between friends.

Today -- we'll hear from two VETERANS.

Anthony Bravo Esparza is known by his friends as "Dreamer."

From a trailer in the parking lot at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus ...

... he offers FREE HAIRCUTS to fellow vets, and a space to hang out.

Last year, Paul Crowley went in for a haircut.

Today -- he's Dreamer's assistant.

OUTRO:

Anthony Bravo Esparza -- known as Dreamer -- with Paul Crowley, at StoryCorps in Los Angeles.

Their conversation -- and all the others -- are archived at the Library of Congress.

There are pictures of Esparza's trailer -- at NPR-dot-ORG.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Black Fur Fredrik Na Na Ni. The Kora Records 2008 :25

Additional Credits

Capella University

Related Website

www.storycorps.org/listen