By Joel Ramos
The laughter, the conversations, the comrade and the fellowship of the men that gather at the place where they can be the very thing they love being… themselves. The buzzing of the clippers, the changing of the guards, the smell of powder as the dust brush passes the face. All of these things that occur during a gentlemen’s visit to the barber shop. Listening to different sounds, the words that are spoken freely with or without filters. Respect is religion within the barbershop with owners having rules from no cursing and no smoking (cigarettes,marijuana,etc…)
In this editorial I want to take the time to talk with the men who grace these establishments weekly or bi-weekly to get a grasp of what it’s like to sit on the other side of the chair. From their experiences to the memories they hold with them when leaving the barber shops. It has been a long time since I have sat on the other side waiting an hour or two on a Saturday morning waiting for my favorite barber to cut my hair… One can easily forget what the other shoe feels like after many years of cutting hair. As a barber I sympathize with those without an appointment that wait it out but rest a sure they not only leave with a great haircut. They leave entertained and with a lasting memory.
Thomas Rivera of Schwenksville, PA drives an hour away for his haircut for the atmosphere and loves being able to tell his barber to do what feels right the trust between barber and client comes to life. Thomas feels coming to the barbershop is an outlet to be free and feels it’s just an escape from reality even if it just for an hour. Thomas believes leaving the barbershop with a great haircut and tons of laughs always makes it worth the trip.
Dave Evans of Reading, PA has been patronizing his barbershop for 48 years even with the ownership switching hands Dave never turned his back on the barbershop that has kept his hair looking great all these years. Dave felt there was no better place in the city of Reading to get a great haircut.
Handshakes and the love shown amongst men showing the fellowship between brothers of the barbershop is shown from open to close as the barber pole is spinning it is family within those doors. From questions like “how’s the family?” To “what’s happening with you?” Conversations starters to some but between client and barber it’s a conversation amongst friends. One on one conversations and open forums on everyday topics can lead into uproars within the barbershop that leads to laughter every time.
Clients are known to go into barber shops with the barbers they’ve known from the very beginning of their career or even through word of mouth. In the barbering industry word of mouth goes a long way with the clients who walk into the barbershop. The relationship between the barbershop and client is a delicate one once you have it and take care of it you will never lose it. Some clients stray to other barber shops because they’re closer, new or cheaper but as time has taught us anything as barbers is that they will always come back. Something within your barbershop always will be a huge part of their lives. Some barber shops have great conversations yet lack in skill while others have the total package of skill and conversation and some barber shops have great skill yet lack of conversation and computability which ever the case may be.
Junior R of Sinking Spring, PA mentioned he goes to barbershop to get a haircut” but it’s the quality of the haircut I really go for. It is a great opportunity to get away from it all and just let loose and laugh with my barber and the other barbers that work there. I enjoy the ability to be able to set and appointment and get there at my set time and I’m right on the chair. That’s called great service and where I go they’re all about that.
The barbershop the place where boys are brought by their fathers and will learn the valuable lesson of the relationship and bond you build there. Lessons and memories that’ll be passed down to the next generation of the relationship between the barbershop and a friend.