Where have all the barbers gone?

February 7th 2020

It just had to be done…Mr. Buchanan needed a hair cut! There was no doubt about it…there was no putting it off any longer (no pun intended) so you google “barber shop near me” and what comes up two barber shops in Blythe CA and one in Parker AZ then a bunch in Phoenix. As we start into our third year on the road finding a good barber shop is a difficult task…so let’s start with what are my expectations of a good barber shop and stupid or not I like my barber to have hair, I expect the shop to take walk-ins, I like my barber to cut my hair with scissors, if they use electric clippers it’s just to trim but I prefer a straight edge for the trim, I would like the shop to offer shaves as well as a shampoo, and a new one as of today the shop must have mirrors so I can see what the hell is going on…just saying

So I went to Parker today for a hair cut, and that is what I got…it’s not the worst hair cut I have ever had but it’s certainly not the best. I guess I’m fairly lucky to have a full head of hair, some in my family are not as blessed, but it is not always a blessing as it seem to grow faster in the warm weather, I know it doesn’t but it’s my story. I mean my hair issues go way back, back far enough that as a kid my mom cut all of the kids with a electric hair clipper kit that she got with reward stamps at the Dominion food store. Now it is almost as bad as it sounds because George my dad had his mother cut his hair like for ever…and looking back on it my grandmother Bessie did a pretty good job, so every couple of months there would be a kitchen chair moved out side in the sun and there would be a hair cutting secession grampa Bert and George would get their hair cut, but the kids would be more of a bowl cut if you know what I’m talking about…so our mom thought he boys would look better with brush cuts, and I think she was probably right, so came the clipper kit with the attachment to get an almost perfect #2 brush cut.

And by the number of old pictures with me sporting a brush cut it must have been a few years worth of them. But I grew up in an era where long hair and hair products were just starting, Brylcreem was the in thing and their catch phrase “was a little dab will do you” and all the kool kids had parted hair cuts with a gob of this white greasy stuff holding it in place…lol

So as I was nearing the end of public school and had to look cool to go to high school I rebelled and started getting store bought hair cuts, the first experience was not the best as my grandfather John took me to his barber and let’s just leave it as when I left I was definitely not one of the cool kids…but it grew out a bit and with a little Brylcreem I wasn’t the biggest goof at the beginning of the school year. But it wasn’t long until I found “my barber” Tony’s Barber Shop, with a barber shop post and every thing, he was located in the Springbank Plaza in Woodstock just a couple of blocks from the high school, oh Tony wasn’t my barber he was too busy especially at lunch time…no Tony had a large clientele, and some guys would wait over an hour to get their hair cut…no no my barber was Tony’s apprentice Al, now Al was just a couple of years older than me, he was still learning the ropes, but fresh enough that none of the regulars would let Al cut their hair. So you see I now had my guy, the kind of barber that on you second visit in his chair he remembered how I liked my hair cut…that was a relationship that went on for about forty years. You see Tony retired, Al took over the shop, Al moved to the window chair, he hired help, he got so busy you had to book a time for a hair cut, he got so busy, he had helpers to shampoo your hair, the shop moved took on the hair dresser image, but it was always like a visit home…a coffee, some great discussions, but I never had to say how I wanted my hair cut…it just happened with the same quality that I had just grown accustom to. Then the news hit Al was going to retire! My world was turned upside down, the search was on for a new barber but they were few and far between, then the chains came in, and they were terrible, in fact worse than terrible. Every time I found a real barber a year or two in he would retire…until here we are with the world on the verge of total chaos…I’m still bouncing from barber to barber…lol