The old barbershop

Yesterday, I went into town to the local hardware store and across the street from the store was an old-style barbershop. It was a small office front with the usual barbershop pole in front. It only had two barber chairs and several seats with some old magazines on a table in front of them. The shop door shows that it is only open Tuesday through Saturday. Well. I have some family coming to visit me this weekend and so I thought I would get my haircut there. Up to now, since my retirement, I have either cut my own hair or gone to my wife’s hairstylist. When I cut my own hair it didn’t always come out looking good.
So off I walked over to the barbershop, which proudly states that is been in existence since 1905, I looked inside the barbershop. The only person in the barbershop was the barber himself sitting in one of his barber chairs reading the local newspaper. As I walked near the front door the barber got up put his paper down and waited to greet me. I opened the door and the barber gave me a real big smile and stated,” hello have a seat”. I sat down in the barber chair that faced out towards the front windows and the streets of the town. As the barber put the apron around the front of me, he stated that his name was David and asked me what my name was. I told him just to call me pops. The barber laughed and said okay pops how do you want your haircut? After a short discussion about the length of my hair, the barber broke out his scissors and began to cut my hair. It didn’t take long before a vehicle pulled up in front of the shop and a woman exited the driver side and quickly walked around to the passenger side to help her husband get out of the car. He slowly out of the car and used his cane to walk into the shop. Upon opening the door, the barber called out his wife’s name and his name and gave them a very friendly welcome. They both laughed and called the barber by his name and went to sit down and wait their turn. Seconds later, a woman walked in front of the barbershop and looked inside the window to see who was there. She then opened the door and walked in and greeted the barber and ask if the second barber was in today. Both the barbers are named David. She was told that the other barber was on vacation. She said she was there to make a appointment for her husband but with the second David not there he would probably just walk into the shop later and wait his turn. After a short conversation about local activities the woman turned and left the shop. A couple minutes later another man walked into the shop and again was greeted by his first name.
It didn’t take long before I was involved in a conversation with all the people in the barbershop. Someone mentioned the name of an old comedian. That sent the conversation off into about 10 minutes of the names of old comedians. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was the oldest person in the shop. The other men who were there to have their hair cut were at least five years younger. It was interesting to sit in the chair and listen to the different stories that each person would tell. There was something very comforting about the barbershop. It was like I was experiencing Americana. It reminded me of the days of my first haircut and my dad taking me to the barber who also greeted him by his first name. When I first moved to Texas I found another old-style barbershop. It was the same kind of atmosphere that I experienced yesterday. Women bring their men into the barbershop. Usually the man with the woman was somewhat disabled and even a little disheveled. But as the men sat down to wait to have their hair cut they seem to recover their youth and the feeling of being perfectly well.
The other surprise to me is the price of the haircut. It only cost $10 to have your haircut there. Have I gone to my wife stylist it would cost twice that much. If I would’ve gone to a large city barbershop it probably would cost three times that much. And if I dared to think to have a haircut at a casino barbershop it would cost about $50. I’m amazed at the barbershop’s can still survive while only charging $10 a haircut. Of course, I gave the guy a five-dollar tip.
I hope that many of you get to experience an old-time small-town barbershop. It is friendly, clean and the people who come in there seem to be really good people. I didn’t have to worry about any drive-by shootings or demonstration walking up and down the streets. The old time two chair barbershop is a way to take a trip back in time. Or if you’re one of the young men going in for his first haircut it will be something that you will remember as you become a man.
Pops

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