Wednesday, June 04, 2008


To an old man,

a cup of coffee is like

the door post
of and old house,

it sustains and strengthens him.

Old Bourbon Proverb


I haven't been in an old barbershop like
this since I left home after HS.

I haven't had a haircut since before I left
for NC back in Feb, it was about time.

We have had many friends over the years
that traded HCs for coffee or other business
related items. Unfortunately our nearest friend
is now located over 60 miles away (round trip)and due to
the rise of gas prices, cost prohibitive. So, I psyched
myself up for some retro haircut, and got what I
expected. Not that it was a total waste,
as I did receive some sort of HC.

After work I walked into the establishment,
which is right across from the PO and a
block away from main street. The owner
was reading a paper, and I told him not to get up,
and asked if I should come back later, when
he wasn't busy? Er, maybe I didn't start
the conversation in a positive way?

He has had this shop for 51 yrs. Yikes,
I'll be 55 this year. Wow, bet no one
has a job that long anymore! ; (

I tried to make a conversation, but didn't
get much out of him. Although, I'm not
sure if any of you will remember, but after
the cut, a long time ago, these guys had
a hand massager, electric, and would rub
it on your upper back for a few minutes.

I was surprised to feel this sensation.
It was quite weird in this way too.

The cut was $10. and I gave him a $20.
thinking he'd give me a $5. and some $1s.
He didn't, so I gave him a $3.00 tip,
hoping next time I might get a better
cut, that is, if I have any hair left the
next time I go. ; (

Oh, this is an Orange Theme Thurs, started
by this blogger. Perhaps if you go there,
there will be other links to other orange
posts 4 today?

" a jazz musician is a juggler

who uses harmonies instead of oranges..."

Benny Green
1927 - 1988

18 comments:

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I so remember the barbers who had a hand massager! Those few seconds—or were they really minutes?—at the end of a hair cut were so fantastic! I wonder if the barbering profession realizes what it has lost since barbers have retired those massagers!

Bob Dylan said...

Haven't had a hair cut since February? What are you, some kind of subversive?

Ruby Redux said...

My brother didn't get a hair cut in about... 8 months of so. My mother forced him to get one. He looked like a kid right out of the jungle.

So, it's normal, I guess. Men's hair grows slower, I suppose. Can I ask how old you are?

Kurt said...

My barber in SF used a hand massager, but my new barber does not. He DOES finish my sideburns and neck with lather and a straight razor, tho.

Merle Sneed said...

I go to a shop that has been in the same location for fifty years. The barber, an old guy named Bob, has owned it for most of that time. I enjoy the feel of an old-time shop, even if he doesn't use the neck massager.

DivaJood said...

At least be glad it wasn't a mullet. Which, sad to say, are making a come-back.

d. chedwick said...

Have you ever seen a skullet? Very popular in upstate NY for some reason. (usually a filled out Tie Dye T shirt size xxxL completes the look.) imagine that. I'm too polite to take a photo.

robin andrea said...

Roger got a haircut like yours just the other day. He walked into a non-descript barbershop and walked out with a close-cropped cut that was straight out of the 50s. Retro, old-fashioned, non-stylized. Fortunately his hair is very thick and grows quickly. He'll be back to his old self in no time!

Enemy of the Republic said...

You have Bob Dylan posting on your page! Dog!

My son will only go to a barber.

Coffee Messiah said...

nick:Naw, people can't be bothered these days, besides, they'd have to add the extra charge.

bd: It was getting so long on the sides and back, it was starting to curl.

ruby r: You can ask, but I'm too very old to tell! ; (

kurt: Wow, you get the works!

merle: Well, sadly, I prefer the former to the latter. To have your hair washed (includes head massage for the same price) then the cut and dry, well, that's being pampered. We don't get pampered like this in the old shops. The electrical massage was OK, but not up there on my list of favorites.

diva: I'd cut it all off if anyone attempted to pull that one on me!

dc: Funny I can formulate that picture in my mind. I know we've seen that out here also!

robin: I wouldn't mind, but mine is the thin type hair.....the only way it looks full is by using gel, and I'll never do that one. Say hello to Roger 4 me.

enemy: That's good for your son. And cheaper by far.....I wonder if he'll ever try another way???

A.Decker said...

I like the quote, I like that it has 'Bourbon' in its name, and I like the barber shop picture. Brings back a flood of sleepy memories (I could almost nod off with someone gently buzzing around my head, sometimes).
I recently have had to turn to a barber for assistance, since my shoulder went gimpy on me and I can't shave my own head anymore.
I have such little hair left, the lady assistant who does it gets a big grin on her face when I walk in. Easy money! The main barber jokes, if it's too much work for her he'll pitch in and help out. It's smaller than in your picture, but really old style barber shop like that. No massagers, though. I've never seen that. Which is just as well, or I would have fallen asleep in the chair.;-D

Coffee Messiah said...

decker: There's a good way to use the massager and a bad way......the latter is what it felt like. Nothing soothing at all, otherwise I might have enjoyed the experience more. I did notice a spot that was tight on my upper left shoulder when he touched it though.

Miles said...

had a similar experience. before an important interview, i decided to do as they did in the old days, stop at a barber shop for a shave and skin bracer, to look especially sharp for my appointment. the shop was a one chair establishment where the 'barber' would sit playing his clarinet between customers. sitting down, i asked for the whole nine yards, the hot facial towel, the lather and whisk, straight razor, the aqua velvet splash, scalp massage, the works. while the slap of the leather strap filled my ears, i closed my eyes to savor the experience of my father's generation.

he gave me everything i had requested, but it took much longer than anticipated. i was running late. without really looking closely in the mirror, i paid and thanked him, glancing at my watch and sprinting to my scheduled meeting. while waiting for the elevator, i caught my reflection in the polished metal, and man, i was mess! my face was covered with nicks and scrapes (now with dried blood patches), stubble remained in small sections that got overlooked. i appeared to have been shaven by a blind man with parkinson's.

needless to say, i didn't get the contract. i also realized that he didn't play his clarinet *between* customers, but rather while patiently waiting for a customer.

Miles said...

p.s.

thank you, d. chedwick, for not sharing the skullet photo.

Coffee Messiah said...

miles: Sorry I missed you earlier.

Thanks for the story. There's millions, isn't there? ! ; )

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