I could almost count on one hand the barbers who have cut my hair during my entire life. And yet, I would be hard pressed to tell you the names of more than two or three of them right now. I'm sure that speaks volumes about my anti-social behavior. With a blank legal pad or a keyboard before me I have no problem babbling on about the most mundane of things. (This is the point that my blog-editor daughter might be tempted to add links to previous blog posts to prove that point, but perhaps she'll spare me.) I'm actually quite personable, charming, and witty when I'm not around people. So, suffice it to say that if you put me in a barber chair I simply have no interest in talking or being talked to.
And yet there has never been anyone in my life that I have been more loyal to than my barber.
|This is as flat as it got|
|They left me a little hair on top|
The next two years were "lean" years, coiffure-wise; those were my army days during which anyone with a pair of shears could simply pass them over my head and say "Next." I don't even include these years in my résumé of barbers.
Following the army I lived in Philadelphia for four years and quickly found a barber just outside the underground train station in the middle of the city; third chair from the left end of a barber shop that had 12 chairs in it. If my guy, Name Unknown, was not there, I would come back another day. This shop looked like it was used as a 1930's gangster movie set.
|They got their beautiful hair from me|
|I lost my ears in the 70's|
|Note the gold chain, open shirt, and pocket protector|
|My bearded period was a once-in-a-life time thing.|
Fairly quickly I discovered "Friendly's Barber Shop," not far from Glenn's place. I didn't like the name one bit but Glenn had talked about his competition on a few occasions and I took that as a recommendation of sorts. I actually recognized several of Glenn's old customers there, so I felt somewhat at home there right away. Despite the name of the shop, the owner was exceptionally quiet and extremely fast. He cut my hair shorter than I was used to, but that just meant that I could go even less often than I had been going. It didn't really occur to me to ask for him to do it differently; that would have required a conversation.
|But a little trim & I was|
back to normal
After 15 years living on the south side of Atlanta, Marty and I moved to Cumming, GA on the north side and about 45 minutes from my "Friendly" barber. Being the loyal soul that I am, for the next four years I commuted to my nameless Forest Park barber to get my five minute haircut every six weeks. And then I killed him off too.
|Two different hair styles from|
two old roommates
I have decided to spare the life of the new, young barber that has taken over the place recently. I understand he is the youth minister of his father's church in Union City. I let him cut my hair once when I learned of Hurschel's passing and he seems much too nice to be exposed to my "barber curse." I notice much of the memorabilia from the walls has been removed. I hope Wendol Thorpe donated some of it to the collection that is in the Tiptonville Museum inside City Hall.
|It took forever to grow that hair for my short run as Cher|
I decided to try something new about four years ago following the death of "Friendly Guy." Marty told me her "hair gal" had men customers and suggested I might like to give her a try. I did and she has been cutting my hair ever since. I have not told her anything about her possible fate. She is a very chatty, young, Korean lady who I fear would totally "freak out" if she knew that she was only my seventh barber, ever, and understood the full consequences of cutting my locks. This is not a problem anyway because I still don't like to talk.
Please say a prayer for Annie.
Jimmy LeDuke (I'd love to hear from you...feel free to comment below, or click HERE to send me an e-mail.)