Tuesday, September 14, 2010

David's Barber Shop

We live about a 7-minute's drive from "town"...town, for us, is a little village on a river, population 1300 (at last count). When Violet needs a haircut, she goes to the same hairdresser that cuts my hair.

When Jude and Daddy need haircuts, they go to the BARBER SHOP.

There is a distinct difference between the two. No modern, cleverly-packaged gels/pastes/taffies/humectants-for-hair at David's barber shop. There's not even a sign outside; just a striped pole, and a "Come In, We're Open" sign in the window.

 No, on his shelves, you will find the classic jar of electric blue "Barbicide" (isn't that what it's called when you murder your barber?), and mysterious, decidely MALE hair products.
This could possibly be the last haven of masculine tradition...a place where there are hair products "specially formulated for men". I admit, I always feel like I'm invading an sacred male sanctum, and I love the glimpse I get of what the world would look like if men really did rule (at least, in a decorative sense): there's a "Newfie clock" that runs backwards, a dust-covered duck in mid-flight (tastefully taxidermied), a wooden sailboat, and wildlife posters, all mounted on lovely wood-panelled walls.

David's father and grandfather were barbers in this same shop, just off the bridge. Old razors, clippers, and leather barber chairs stand in testimony of his right to wield scissors like an artist. And he is an artist. He's about ready to retire, but has no son to take over the shop.

When we walk in, he's always just standing there, as if he was just waiting for us to arrive, even though we never make an appointment. We never have to wait. He watches the logging trucks and tourists roll past his window. Jude may be his youngest client. The other men I've seen in the shop usually wear ducktails or that hairstyle where it's parted horizontally at the back and combed, perplexingly, forward.

"Removes loose dandruff, grooms the hair, improves appearance".

Jude always pays David himself (cash only), and says, "Thanks for the haircut". My boy walks out of that shop looking like a boy from anytime...1850, 1900, 1940...hair parted on the side, combed over to the side, as handsome and proud as you please.

I love our barber shop. It makes me happy.

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  1. How great that you captured this! I remember sitting in the barber shop while my Dad got his hair cut, and having that same feeling of being slightly out of place. Not unwelcome, by any means, but that it wasn't really a place for "girls". I'm guessing traditional barber shops are few and far between these days.

  2. Looks like a moment from back in time, wonderful. What an amazing place to visit:)

  3. I work at a hair salon and I agree with you. Barber shops are a whole thing to themselves.

    I always hate those tubs of babicide. They smell awful

  4. LOVE the shot of Margot looking up at Jude!

  5. LOL, I love that last shot! What a cutie!

  6. Oh how fun!! I took my boys to a little old barber shop in my city... It was so fun and retro with things from the days of old. Good idea to take pictures :) I think I need to take my boys back to get their "manly" baber style haircuts :)

  7. I LOVE a good, old-fashioned barber shop. Really cool.


  8. What a great tribute.
    Your boy has really sweet little face.

  9. small neighborhood places are the best :)

  10. "...that hairstyle where it's parted horizontally at the back and combed, perplexingly, forward." LOL! Your post makes *me* happy too :-)

  11. I love this post. Places like that are a treasure. It almost looks like a museum.

  12. You make me happy! Your comments on my blog in the middle of my long lonely day, make me very happy - and they remind me of my darling children that are too far from my arms.

    I love going to coffee shops, hair-dressers, corner stores, and thrift shops where everyone knows your name (and your daughter says embarrassing stuff about you)...a love being a part of such a fantastic community. (Even if it sometimes seems so far away from the rest of the world.)

    Take care of you...


  13. Ha! One time when I was a brazen teenager, I stormed into our local barber shop and demanded a haircut! The barber was terrified...he could barely bring himself to touch me, and when I asked for the clippers, he politely declined my request! I didn't understand it at the time, (brazen teenager that I was), but I can now respect these places for what they are...they are a little slice of respite for the boys and men of the world. How flippin' sweet a place!?
    xo maureen

  14. Our local Barber Shop is called "The Men's Room". My boys have gone in on their own since my oldest was 12. I seemed to make the older gentlemen uncomfortable and had no desire to "ruin their fun". The Barber and I reached an agreement that I would wait in the car with a good book and the boys could choose their own haircut. How proud they both were of paying by themselves and being expected to behave like gentlemen without Mommy's watchful eye!
    This is still an activity that they do together. My big boy grabs his car keys and hollers "I'm going to the Men's Room! Are you coming too, you shaggy beast?" And off they go! (And in my heart they are still 12 and 4 years old respectively and that is how I will choose to remember them! ^_^)

  15. Lovely posting! I miss taking my little old Dad to the gentlemans sanctum. His barber was an old army buddy of his. I could walk in with Dad, say hello to Tony the barber (who I'd known since childhood) then had to go out to the car to wait. When they both hit 90 the traditional old barber shop closed down. No one to take over. These old places are dying out.

  16. This is one of my all time favourite posts!!! Should be published in the local newspaper...as is...photos and all. A tribute to a long standing business.
    LOVE the photos.....Margot looking way up at the hair cutting action and the one of Jude with his straight bang. This made me very happy!!!

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