Wide Wide Wildblood World

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alan's First Haircut

This week I went to the barber shop for the first time in quite a while. I decided to take a camera so something besides vacationing could go on this blog. I wish I had a picture of Howard Hutchinson, the only barber I patronized from 1948 to 1963. He was a coin collector like myself, a vintage car buff and a police radio listener on Roosevelt Avenue in Mercerville, New Jersey. He wasn't my very first. I think my first trim may have been in the Villa Park section of Trenton, where I toddled before 1948. But at least the date has been preserved – December 8, 1945. My mother entered this in my baby book - “Good as gold. Chattered all the time. Daddy had to hold my hands.”

After being faithful so long to Hutch, I had a bunch of other hairdressers as I began to get more around than up in the world. In Bethlehem, Columbia, Krakow and St. Francisville, Brackenfell and Nuevo León. Ugo in Tuscany with a Communist newspaper in his shop. Several women scissor handlers. One was Karen, another Heidi (in an earlier blog item). A Marysia to whom I was loyal for several years, persistently tried to make a human being out of me. All three were amateurs. A Titiana and her crew of Figaro trainees less than a block from home. One in Braga to kill time while my women shopped. I walked past the entrance several times before I got up the nerve to try to communicate my desired look in Portuguese. I was not dying for a dyeing wanted to make that known. Unlike certain other members of my family, I prefer my natural color, which I contend is read. As evidence I cite Bob Pinto, who called me “Carrot Top” as he pumped a tiger into our 1940 Oldsmobile at Hamilton and Olden.

But for the past few years I have pretty much settled on Wolfgang in Pariser Straße. Master cutter Pierdzioch is a “hair designer.“ I wished he had not designed that little bare spot at the top of my busy street. Hutch was from the old school, in Philadelphia as I recall, and scoffed at the barbers who glorified themselves as stylists. Wolfgang always does a good job, winding up with a clean sweep. The only trouble with his place is that there is no bicycle rack real close.