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Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
Hair today, gone tomorrowPosted Thursday, January 17, 2013, at 11:55 AM
When I was growing up in the small town of Round Lake, Minn., there was only one place to get a haircut - Menk's Barber Shop. I don't even know for sure what the owner/barber's first name was - everyone always called him Menk (his last name.)
There were no fancy beauty salons back then with pretty things hanging on the walls of serene colors.
Nope. Menks was it.
Any time of the day, there were people in his shop - some waiting for a hair cut, some just sitting around shooting the breeze - sitting in the few chairs which when I think back, make me think of old theater seats.
The smell of talc was in the air and there were bottles of tonics on a small shelf under the giant mirror. I often heard him sharpening the razor on his razor strap while waiting and always hoped he wouldn't use those things on me.
When kids came to him for a haircut, he had a special seat that he attached to his chair so that they sat up higher for him to get the job done.
I wore my hair in a pixie back then - bangs nearly up to the top of my head (so it looks like in my old photos) and short all the way around. He always used a little brush to get the fresh cut hairs off my face and neck and later on he even had a miniature vacuum that he used to get those stray hairs. That always made me laugh.
After the hair cut was the best part. There was always a nickel for the kids, intended to be used for an ice cream cone at Slats' Bar, next door. That nickel bought one scoop.
Getting a haircut that made me look like a boy wasn't so bad after an ice cream cone.
And now, there are a gazilllion salons to select from and few barbershops. Maybe those guys don't care for perfume-smelling salons for their hair cuts. I wonder if that was what my son Austin was thinking of when over Christmas vacation he bought himself a hair clippers (actually, I think he may have weighed the costs of going in for a buzz cut or doing it himself.)
The clippers sat around for a few days and he asked some of the family a few times if we would cut his hair.
I thought of the worst scenarios that maybe I would cut him but he assured me that couldn't happen.
So one night I was trimming him and things were going fine - his hair was looking fine - not too short. Jordan said he would trim around Austin's ears, using the second clipper which was included, one just like the beauticians use to trim around the ears and the back, he told us.
Except, did everyone forget that Jordan is not trained in cutting hair. All of a sudden, we heard, "Oh, oh" from Jordan. I didn't see an ear fall to the floor but I did see the hair was trimmed skin tight around the ears.
Austin panicked and screamed, "What'd you do? It looks bad, doesn't it?"
Well, yea, sort of.
So to make it all balance out, we had to put a closer blade on the clippers to cut all the rest shorter. He looked as though he was ready to pack up with the Marines by the time we were done with the second cutting.
The good news is Jordan won't be around to lend a hand for the next haircut but the bad news is I will.
If I mess up, I'll just give Austin a nickel for an ice cream cone and to forget about the crappy job I did.
* Lorri Glawe is a member of the Pilot news staff. Reach the columnist at email@example.com
Lorri Glawe is a reporter for the Pilot Tribune in Storm Lake.