I am not sure when I got my first “haircut” but I do remember sitting on a yellow stool with a tea-towel pinned around my neck. My dad was the “barber” . The buzz of the clipper and the smell of the blade lubricant still remains. The itch that followed was an irritant, but the feel of a freshly smoothed head always made me smile. The evolution of my hair being cut is ending where it began.
I was probably about five when my dad loaded me in his 53’ Chevy pick- up with port windows. “We are going to ‘Slick’s Barber Shop’ today for a real haircut”. Slick’s was classic old school. It was in the basement of the Pueblo Star Journal and Chieftain building. The staircase was adorned with a red, white and blue barber poll. To enter Slick’s was go to the center of my slowly emerging manhood. There were four barber chairs there, all staffed with a team of men in white. Slick called my name and I took my place in the chair. He had a handle on the side which he pumped and got me up to the right level. The best part was the “smell good” he put on as he finished. I matured at least five grades on that day.
I don’t think I went to Slick’s for every haircut but it was always a treat. I do remember my dad getting me inside of the bowels of the newspaper when the presses were rolling. It was almost as great as getting to watch freight trains arrive at the depot just a few blocks away.
Slick’s gave way to Hamm’s Barber Shop which was at the new shopping center. What I remember is that I was really in to “flat tops”, complete with Butch Wax, which was beyond me dad’s homemade hair cut expertise. When high school hit we discovered a barber shop in the Colorado Building in downtown Pueblo. They had Playboy magazines for your viewing pleasure, and a long line of 16 year olds from every high school.
For the next forty plus years, I migrated to everything from chain hair places to beauty shops. When I first moved to Denver I got my hair cut for a couple of years at a place that gave you a neck and shoulder massage. About seven years ago, I decided to go back to the home barber arrangement and MK bought her own clippers, which came complete with one of those yellow and black books “Haircuts for Dummies”.
A couple of years ago MK announced that she was done with being my barber, and suggested that I use her private stylist named Guy. Guy is awesome. He is a good friend of our grandson Zach. We have worked out a barter system where we trade time share for buzz cuts.
Yesterday I was at least three weeks past my date with the #2 clipper stetting. Guy worked me in and in 12 minutes there was a pile of hair on the floor and a smile from Guy. He showed me the entirety of what he cut. How did it become so grey? Well my motto for years has been “turn grey and stay”. So far, my forehead has grown a bit but there is no shiny back side.
From Slick’s to Guy’s living room, they both create an experience that is better than just getting a buzz cut.
Onward and Upward, Mark