Monday, February 05, 2007

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Vince!

Believe it or not, I used to actually go to a barber to have my hair cut.

Yes, I actually once did have hair...

Mrs. TBF and I bought our first house in Elmhurst, Illinois in 1987. Shortly after moving in, I noticed that my hair was getting a bit scruffy, and I realized that I needed to find a local barber. As fate would have it, while making one of the first of what would be many drives to the local home-improvement store, I happened to pass a barber shop located only a couple of blocks away from our house - Vince's Barber Shop.

I liked the place the moment I walked in because: appointments....first come, first served...

...guns mounted on the walls, and usually a gun on the table next to the cash register that Vince would be cleaning while he was waiting for the next customer to come in. I'm not a "gun person", but I thought it was pretty cool!

...three barbers' chairs, but only one barber...

...stacks of gun, car, and girly-magazines...

It was truly a barber shop for manly men.

More often than not, while Vince ('s amazing what one can find with a Google search!) was cutting my hair, one of his buddies would pull up in front of the shop in his Cadillac that would take up two parking spots, come in to the shop, sit in one of the chairs, talk to Vince about guns - or some other pressing matter - for a few minutes, then...leave without getting a haircut. Yup...just stoppin' by for a little visit.

Vince, whose birthday is on February 2nd (I remember it every year!) was - and probably still is - a real character.

One time, while getting my hair cut about a week before Christmas, the following exchange took place:

TBF: "Did you buy your wife anything for Christmas?"

Vince: "Leather goods."

TBF: " a purse, or something?"

Vince: "No...a boot in da rear, and a belt in da mouth!"
I've used that one a million times...

Around 1995, I realized that I didn't have too much hair left, and I started buzzing my own hair with a trimmer. Then, in 1997, I began shaving my head. Vince's services were no longer needed, and I stopped going to "the" barber shop.

I wonder if he even noticed...

Zip ahead five years to late summer, 2000 when, shortly before moving to Switzerland, I stopped in to see Vince.

(TBF walks into Vince's Barber shop...)

Vince: "Holy shit!!!!"

TBF: "I just thought I'd stop by to let you know that I didn't leave you for another barber."

Vince: "Looks to me like your barber is a real asshole!"
I grabbed a seat, talked to Vince for a few minutes, told him I was moving to Switzerland, said goodbye, and walked out of his shop...

Yup...just stopped by for a little visit.

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