Watchn' Daddy Shave

My dad was my best buddy...

Remembrances of my childhood…

Most little boys idolize their dad and I was no exception. My dad could walk on water I thought as I followed him most everywhere he went while at home. Dad was used to working at nights so most of the day he was in bed asleep, if you can sleep very well with three growing boys in the house. Of course there was always Peggy, our sister, but if she wasn’t in school she was working. Besides, girls don’t make noise like boys be, and I tried to be as quite as a little boy could be.

Moms would just open the door and holler, "boys, its supper time"

Mom was forever saying shhh, or “you boys be a little quieter.” It was different in the summer time. We could always go and play outside. That meant baseball in the summer or football in the later weeks of summer and into the fall. But whatever we played, we kept an ear pealed to hear our mother’s voice. Mom would just open the door and holler, “boys, it’s supper time,” and that usually ended the game no matter what or where we were playing. You take three brothers out of the game and that just about ended that session.

imitating dad
imitating dad

the best time of day to talk ‘man to man’

Depending on what day of the week it was we boys knew just about what we were having for supper. Mom always woke dad up in time to bathe before supper and sometimes dad would come to the table with his hair still wet. I would notice that he hadn’t shaved yet and was probably going to wait until after supper while mom was washing the dishes. Jim and Jack would run back out to play, but I would usually stay behind to watch my daddy shave. I was fascinated by the tiny hairs that grew out of his face each day. While he was testing the water temperature and getting down his old shaving mug and brush, dad and I would talk. This was the best time of day to talk ‘man to man’ and some of my best remembrances was when I would sit on the side of the bathtub while dad was lathern’ up that old brush and shavin’.

Do you remember watching your dad shave?

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my dad would whistle and I knew it was okay to start talkin’

He would first wet the brush with warm water and work up a good lather in the mug of shave’n soap, but before he lathered his face he would warm a washcloth, and then quickly wrap his face in it for a few minutes. I learned it was best to wait and not ask him any questions during this time because all the little hairs wouldn’t get soften up and his shave wouldn’t be as comfortable. Some times my dad would whistle and I knew it was okay to start talkin’. I found my dad was really smart for havin’ no more than a third grade education. I figured he was just self-taught.

a time reserved... for a young man to learn from his dad

After he removed the washcloth he would brush on the shave’n soap quickly. Then, taking his old Gillette double-edged razor; and turning his head from side to side and up and down while looking in the mirror he proceeded to shave all those little hairs that had grown out since yesterday about this time.

We would talk about anything and everything I remember. This was a time reserved for the two of us to converse while the young man learned from his dad…

© 2010 SamSonS

Comments 21 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

What wonderful memories of your dad. Thank you for sharing them with us. You describe these memories so well I can easily picture you as a young boy sitting on the edge of the tub and talking with your father while he shaved.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thank you drbj for you gracious comments. I feel fortunate that I can remember the way I do.


DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

Some of us survived fathers who were child and wife-beaters. Praise God for your loving upbringing.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hey DiamondRN, glad you stopped by. Yes, yesteryear was a different time completely. I'm so thankful I grew up during a more simple time and lifestyle. Before TV, private phone lines and even cell phones. When you could tell the men from the women not only by their natural characteristics but also the way they dressed...

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

My dad may have been ahead of his time because he used an electric razor. However, I never had. Like yours my father worked nights although an earlier shift so he was not home at supper time.I also followed him everywhere on Saterdays

Kristeen profile image

Kristeen 6 years ago from Michigan

Great story samsons1. It brings to mind how my daughters used to come into my husbands and my bedroom when I was folding clothes. They would sit on the clothes hamper and just talk about anything and everything as I folded piles of laundry. It always made the job less tedious for me. I hope it's a memory they savor like your memories of your dad shaving.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks dahoglund for your nice visit as always and your nice comments...

and thank you Kristeen for you gracious reminisce of simpler times...

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Lovely story - I do remember having a cutthroat shave from the same barber that did my dad my grand dad and myself - three generations and he could tell some stories.

Loves To Read profile image

Loves To Read 6 years ago

They were the good old days samsons1. As a girl i still did watch my dad shave. Although i never wanted to shave i used to love seeing him lather his face and neck up to a thick white foam and then watch as he made lines through it with the razor. Another thing of the past.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Haha..... what a cute story!!!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

* thanks billy for your reminisce...

* and thank you Loves for sharing your kind remembrances and comments...

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks carolina for your visit and comments...

fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

My dad used to lather up and try to give me a kiss, a tradition I have carried on with my 3 kids over the years. Love how you transport me back in time! Up and beautiful!

Dave Mathews profile image

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

The one thing still in my mind about watching dad shave is all the cuts he ended up with because thre razor was not sharp enough.

Brother Dave.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

*Hey fred, my dad tried that too, and I with my 3 daughters. Thanks for the nice comments...

*Remember that also Dave, and did he pull small pieces of toilet paper to dab on the cuts. Later they came out with styptic pencil...

must65gt profile image

must65gt 6 years ago

watching him shave was my introduction to the "Magic" styptic Pencil of which I came to know intimately in later years. My Grandfather always used an electric and on my 15th birthday he gave me my own Norelco. But somehow it never got as close as the razor. Thanks for the memories....great hub

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you must65gt, for your visit and sharing your reminisce...

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I know it is going to be such fun reading you, it sounds so much like my family and my dad worked hours we rarely saw him. Most of the stories like this one though I have taken down to put on a site of my own real soon. This is such a wonderful place to heal or just enjoy comparing lives.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you Polly and welcome to my circle of friends. You are most gracious with your comments...

Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

That's the best thing about life. Memories just like this one. Nowadays its all about fancy toys and spending $100 at a theme park. Granted, those things are still nice. But getting to know your father in a few minutes while he shaves? It doesn't get any better than that.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Springboard, I always enjoy your encouraging remarks.


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