The Old Barber Shop School of Knowledge
The Old Barber Shop School of Knowledge

I was thinking just today how much I miss the old fashion barber shop. I know, things change and we have to just accept the changes and sort of roll with the flow, right?¬† Well things do change, but that doesn’t mean I have to like the changes.¬† I don’t mean the big changes in life, I’m talking about the little things, the things we grew up with that are no longer available.

I remember the barber shop I would go to for my hair cuts when I was a kid.¬† It was on Centre street in Fernandina Beach, in the three star building next to Robinson’s Jewelry store today.¬† Mr Roberts, Bobby O’Quin and Archie were always there to greet you with a smile, turn that barber chair around for you to jump up in and settle down for some serious hair cutting.

You could learn a lot while in the barber shop.  Important things such as where to catch the biggest fish, who has been ill, who just passed away, what the weather was going to do and what was happening in our city, county and national governments.  Yup, the barber shop was the heart beat of information for our community. If you really wanted a treat it was to visit the shop around election time, boy the different views you could hear while there. 

In addition to haircuts you could also get a shampoo, a shave and a neck massage.¬† Remember the smell of good ole “Bay Rum”?¬† The shaves I received when I was a young man were smooth, and all with a straight razor.¬† A hot towel was wrapped around your face with nothing more then your nose sticking out in order for you to breath.¬† You can’t get this type of service on every main street today, if it’s available you will have to look for it.

There was a big shoe shine stand on one wall and there was always shoes being shined.  People wanted to look their best then, I think more so than they do today.  A row of seats lined the wall for those waiting for a chair or simply engaging in conversation, that was permitted and with no charge.

The barber shop has given way to the “hair stylist” today.¬† Many men now go to a beauty shop to have their hair cut.¬† There are a few barber shops left, but they are on their way out, or so it seems.¬† Yes, things have changed and I know I can’t do anything about it, but I still don’t have to like all the changes.¬† There, I feel much better now.

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