Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2014

Who Wants A Mustache Prize?

One of Capitol Hill’s own has been nominated for the 2012 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Award.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer has been nominated, along with 14 other mustachioed Americans, for the award. The winner will be announced at the totally real American Mustache Institute’s ’Stache Bash in Mesa, Ariz., on Oct. 27.


How long has he had his lip sweater? “Usually, I cleverly respond: Never longer than my lower lip. … But in truth that is a very old, bad joke,” he says.

The real answer is since 1970. He grew it just before leaving for Vietnam, he tells HOH.

“I grew the mustache to look older. Navy ensigns did not have much street cred,” Gainer says. “My wife thought me handsome. I thought me dashing. The kids just thought I was Dad, and now the grandkids call me Papa Mustache, and now it is just old, gray me.”

Gainer has a few mustache idols, men whose flavor savers inspire his own.

“I thought Tom Selleck’s was great,” he says. Though, perhaps, he says, Selleck’s is “too dyed now.”

“And then there is Robert Goulet,” Gainer says, name-checking the late crooner whose booming voice, legendary fashion sense and prodigious facial hair inspired the annual award.

Four of Gainer’s brothers were Chicago police officers and another brother is a firefighter.

They all have mustaches.

“The family picture is precious,” he promises.

Gainer says one of his “excellent employees” is the “culprit” who nominated him for the award. “Payback is hell,” the former Capitol Police chief says.

Finally, he bids HOH farewell.

“Peace out, dog,” the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms says.

Godspeed, Papa Mustache!

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