The sun is shining through the blinds to my left; slivers of light are burning parallel lines into my hands as they’re wrapped tightly around my rented coffee mug. It’s Friday, I’ve put in more than 40, I’m sitting in my favorite diner, and I have a haircut in 2 hours. Life is so good.
I don’t know what it is about the barber shop…the culture, the history, the smell? I don’t know, and honestly, I don’t care to nail down whatever IT is about the experience, either. I know I love it and it cleanses my soul of weight; like something is left in hair that’s swept up and thrown away. In the footsteps found between the door to the chairs, from the chairs to THE chair, and out the door again lies some kind of magic. There’s some kind of time portal to the gentlemen of the past. There’s a powerful bond that’s found in THE chair where so many men have sat before me. I think its one of the last ties to a time where men could be men among men.
The chair I sat in today was built in 1930 by a company named Paidar. Jake is a 90-year-old vintage barber trapped inside a young man. He was gifted his first pair of WAHL Home Pro clippers in the 5th grade; he’s a true student of his craft. Today was the first time he cut my hair in his very own shop. He’s been cutting my hair for 4 years; from the hometown shop, to a hallway in his home, and now, in his own shop that’s an extension of him. While Jake works his magic on my hair, I’m surrounded by what makes Jake, Jake. I’m happy for him and super proud of him for doing what a lot of people are scared to; follow their passion with motivation, patience, and intention.
Thanks for always taking care of the “Branscum Boys,” as you like to call us. Benny and I will build a father/son tradition sitting in your chair, filling 60 minutes of your appointment book every few weeks.
Good luck, Jake. Congratulations, pal, you made it.