Gettin' My First Hair Cut

Remembrances of my childhood...

As a little boy I knew that I was destined for shorter hair than girls. My dad’s hair was shorter than moms or my sister Peg’s hair. Jim and Jack had short hair like my dad. This was how I could tell the difference between boys and girls. Well, girls did wear dresses too. So in the late 1940’s the only difference in boys and girls were the length of their hair and whether they wore britches or dresses. Oh yes, one more way… Girls couldn’t throw a baseball.

"you don’t want to look like a girl, do you?"

I remember mom & dad would stand me in a chair in the kitchen and then they would put mom’s apron around my neck. Then they would part my hair and talk to me as they proceeded to remove the ‘extra’ hair that grew while I slept with a comb and mom’s sewing scissors. Dad said, “you don’t want to look like a girl, do you?” and I assured him I didn’t as I watch the little tuffs of blonde hair fall off my head and onto mom’s apron and then to the floor. That wasn’t so bad after all, and mom’s lady friends at church on Sundays would say that I looked like a little man. I liked the attention, until they smiled while pinching my cheeks.

The BarberShop
The BarberShop

The whole building was his and had his name on it...

Dad had a pair of hand clippers that he later used, but sometimes they would pull my hair and that did hurt I remember. After that, my dad said he guessed I was ready for a big man’s haircut next time. So, one Saturday a few weeks later, my dad took me down town to the same building where he worked nights, the Colonial Hotel, right across from the big train station, on the Virginia side of town.

Wow! What a place. My dad worked for Ernest Dickey a local businessman and insurance agent. This whole building belonged to Mr Dickey and had his name on it, way up high where people could see it from the train station. Besides being a hotel, the building also housed the insurance agency and a barbershop with a barber pole that turned and everything. I was good friends with all the barbers and ‘Sky’ the shoeshine boy and Albert... he ran the elevator up and down between the floors for those who didn't want to walk the stairs.

Do you remember the old Barber Poles hanging on the buildings?

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‘gettin’ your ears lowered’

All the businessmen who came to town would stop by the barbershop to get a haircut when they got off the train. It was a grand place with a white tiled floor and large fans overhead that turn soft and slow so as not to mess up your hair after your haircut. ‘Slim’s’ chair was by the window were you could look out at the people walking by while ‘gettin’ your ears lowered’. That’s what Slim called getting a haircut –‘getting’ your ears lowered’. He had a ‘booster seat’ he slid in the chair to raise me up a little and then he spread a big apron over me to keep the hair clippings off my clothes. His clippers were electric and sorta tickled as he held my head still with his left hand while guiding the clippers with his right hand. The little buzzing sound almost put me to sleep I recall each time I got ‘clipped’.

I bet I smelled like a little puppy dog

After the hair cut he would splash some smelly stuff on his hands and rubbed it into my hair while brushed the hair off my shoulders and neck with a large soft brush. I bet I smelled like a little puppy after his bath

© 2010 SamSonS

Comments 24 comments

DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

I remember paying 65 cents for a haircut. The expensive barber shops charged $1.00 on Saturday mornings; less during the week. The choice was usually crew cut or flat top. Requesting anything else could cause quite a stir.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks DiamondRN, for your fast response and for the nice reminisce...


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

I remember the barbershop in a small town that my dad went to. There was a red and white barber pole outside and the inside was just like a good old men's club. There were no manicurists - just barbers. Thanks for the deja vu journey.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you drbj for your visit and your interesting comments...


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

I remember how much courage it took just to walk up the street to get my first haircut in a real barbershop. I nerver liked having my hair cut, and could have bought a ton of candy with the seventy-five cents it would cost.

I got there only to discover that the barbershop was closed, as Monday's was always the barber's day off and he closed down the shop. Seems like mom and dad were not aware of this and I got yelled at when I came home, my hair looking the same as when I left.

Dad even marched me back up to the shop,to discover the closed sign in the window, but never apologized for doubting or yelling at me. I guessed parents don't apologize for little things like that.

Brother Dave.


Kristeen profile image

Kristeen 6 years ago from Michigan

I remember my step dad saying I am going to "get my ears lowered". This hub definitely brought a smile to my face.

The scene at home with mom cutting and dad coaching reminds me of my own boys haircuts when they were small. They truly hated it and would wiggle and squirm and cry, but it was cheaper than the Barber Shop.

I enjoyed this hub. Blessings Samsons1


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks Dave Mathews for your reminisce and comments...

*and thank you Kristeen for your gracious remarks while taking a walk down memory lane...


fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

Your writing has a way of bringing the past to remembrance. I consider that a gift. Loved the clip from Mayberry! Especially the first few minutes with Opie and Barney! Up and funny!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks fred, it's always a pleasure when you drop by...


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

When I was very young, also in the 1940's, my Dad routinely took a walk down Central Avenue in NE Minneapolis. It is still a business district now. He would go to the drug store and buy cigarettes, go to the hobby shop or the fishing tackle store and get a haircut. I think he chose the particular barber because they were both interested in horses. I don't remember my first haircut but i'm sure it was there.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks dahoglund, for your visit and your remembrances...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Boy, does that bring back memories! I kind of forgotten about some of that stuff over the years. I really liked the Andy-Opie picture, too.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks lifegate, glad to have you back, how was your trip? Oh, and thanks for your nice comments...


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Great hub of day gone by, don't know from where but "getting your ears lowered" spread far and wide voted up, 50


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks 50, 'those were the days'...


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Thanks for a step back in time. I loved the barber poles when I was little. Used to stand out in front of the shop and peek in the window to watch the men getting a haircut. Rated up on this good hub.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks vocalcoach for your visit and your nice remarks. Look around, you might find something else you care to read...


GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 5 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

Great article I remember the barber poles when I was younger I use to call them a candy cane pole with a twist.. Lol don't you hate that getting your cheeks pinched as a kid I remember watching my brother getting his pinched all the time by little old ladies and they would tell him how adorable he is..I definetly gave you a vote up :)


matt6v33 profile image

matt6v33 5 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

Hello Young Man,

Once again, u have made me feel oh so good!

For you've made me remember, my lowly humble, beginings, as a child/for the sound of my Fathers "Booming" Voice thundering thru out the House, I can now still Hear Him, "Jimmy, You little Punk, Get In Here(kitchen) Now! Damit"! Then as he placed the "Bowl" on my head, he proceeded, to give me my "Crew Cut"! as my tears flowed, knowing i was going to be made Fun Of, by all my friends, who was forunate enough to go to a real "Barber", For it was a few years later, where i pleaded with my Mother, to take me down the street to the real barber! Its Funny Sir, i can now recall after all these years there names, John(father) & Walt(Son) hmmmmmm.... wow...

Memories! :) thanks sir...

hope and pray all is well with you, and your family this Lords Day!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks GlstngRosePetals, for your gracious comments and for sharing your reminisce. I have a barber pole on the side of my desk - much smaller of course but still symbolic.

* and thank you Jimmy- for your kindness in memory sharing. Times were hard as we grew up, but I wouldn't change a thing. It's from those humble beginnings that we have become who we are today. Thank God for those simple ways because now we can appreciate our true blessings from above...


imranhaider 5 years ago

nice hub


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Imranhaider for your friendship and for your nice comments...


Pratonix profile image

Pratonix 5 years ago from Asia

Awesome. I love the nostalgia in this piece. Those were truly the good old days. You write very well, brother.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

again I thank you for sharing your generous spirit of kindness. I appreciate your graciousness...

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