You can judge the quality of a community by its Barber Shop(s). Take for example, actor Seymour Cassel’s, memorable rendition of the ideal Barber/Father to the young genius, Max Fisher, astutely played by Jason Schwartzman, in Wes Anderson’s brilliant film, Rushmore. In the film, Rushmore the Barbershop is portrayed as what is should always be, a place of comfort and paradoxically of stark revelation, transformation. It is where the beloved actor, Bill Murray, playing a whiskey drinking, divorce-bound Sad Dad, is transformed, redeemed, rescued by the honest embrace of a thickly padded Barber’s Chair, a pile steaming hot towels, and the razor’s ready edge.
In fact and fiction, good traditional Barber’s Shops are a refuge for men. Seeking this ideal experience we have, at times spent BIG MONEY. For example, there was a periods of years during, which we paid for Honey to have his haircut at The Shave in Beverly Hills. After a while, we stopped it because we realised we were being fleeced. A haircut for a half-bald Honey should not cost $$$$! No way! Yesterday, at “Who’s Next?” which is a welcoming little nest for shaggy fellas, we confirmed our experience. Hartmuth got a quick haircut. By a beyond efficient, masterful Barber. Haircuts with clippers, buzz cuts with stubbly edges, all the fuzzy feelings of joy that do with good grooming! We can all agree: men LOOK so Good, after a fresh haircut!
Have you ever had the pleasure of hanging out in a classic Barbershop?
An excellent Barber listens, laughs, and, he treats each guest with the respect he clearly has for himself, if a perfectly groomed Barber is to be taken as proof of good training and self mastery. His easy, earnest conversation is a soothing example of how humans are supposed to connect and confide, confer and create bonds which sustain others and the self. After visiting, “Who’s Next?” one is left with a sense of excellence. In meeting a man that clearly values his connections to family and friends, his fiancé, his son who also clips the hair of men of others, part-time, as he prepares for college. In this way, father passes on to son, an honest trade which is always and forever in demand, thereby reveals the core of masculine strength, nobility, passed from one generation to the next, which inspires. Ah!
Return to the comfort of “Who’s Next?,” a quality barbershop in San Diego’s upscale paradise, La Jolla. It is a real place.
Small. Cosy. Friendly. Prompt. Service! I love good service.
Former Navy Man,* Florida native, happy San Diego transplant success, Mr. . runs a tight ship. The shop is immaculate. Two giant scissors decorate the wall, evoking crossed swords in a symbol of chivalry. In an informal interview Mr. D revealed that “Who’s Next?” is a family business. He inherited the skills and the passion for creating a quiet, manly retreat, from his uncle. He says, “My Uncle always knew that I would continue working with hair, that I liked it.”
Mr. D’s smile, speaks volumes about his standards of conduct. The great haircut my husband received proves that Mr. D. is a no-nonsense small business owner, the kind of man whose conduct and true character shine brighter than the best and most sparkly, stiff, pomade.
*(Correction: in an earlier published draft I wrote that Mr. D was a Marine, not the case, I made that up. Sorry.)
Ah! To be transported to the living age-of-chivalry, yesterday in a cute little barbershop, via good-old-fashioned slow and thoughtful conversation we arrived at that place outside time, where everything slows down, allowing for a few ernest moments of sparkling laughter. Served fresh, humour is the best medicine and laughter is the most potent health tonic.
Take time, My Friends, to connect, to arrive at the small pleasures. So… I advise you go get a haircut. Go to a neighbourhood spot, where you are recognised and treated like a close and cherished friend upon arrival. If you happen to be in San Diego, I highly recommend that you visit Mr. D. at “Who’s Next?”