More Than Skin Deep: Barbershop trips were cut above rest

When I was a little boy, boys went with their dads to the barbershop to get a haircut. Today, it’s no big deal to go with mom to the salon, actually it’s now considered to be cool, but when I was a kid, the salon was known as a “beauty parlor,” and boys went with dad to get their hair cut at the barber shop, period.


Going to get a haircut with my dad was fun to me. We would go to the same guy every time, who was also my dad’s friend. To this day, my dad and he are good friends, and he is still cutting hair. His name is Bill Thebarber.

I got my head shaved with the clippers, like you would a dog, and I thought it was just great. I looked forward to my head shavings and loved going to the barber shop. I would jump up on the chair thing, that rested on top of the big barber chair, eager for the “regular boy’s haircut,” like it was on some kind of menu of hairstyles to choose from.

Then Bill Thebarber would put warm, foamy, shave cream, all over my neck, and let it sit awhile as he sharpened his razor blade on the rawhide thing attached to the chair, back and forth, until it was gleaming sharp.

I thought it was all just incredible.

With a flick and a wipe, my neck was rid of all three hairs that grew there. Then he ran the clippers over my head like Fido, taking all of two minutes. When I see photos of myself back then, I looked a lot like a Q-tip.

Until I was, I’m guessing, about 20 years old, I thought Bill’s name was Bill Thebarber.

As a kid, I did not give his last name “Thebarber” a second thought. As I got older, the name just became a strange coincidence to me and my sister.

She thought his name was Thebarber, too, and having a child’s crush on him, had plans of one day being Mrs. Thebarber.

We were both shocked and devastated when we found out that his real name is Bill Mckenzie, and all along, people were just saying Bill, the barber. I swear I’m not kidding about this. But in my mind, he is, and always will be, Bill Thebarber, the best head shaver ever.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there who are making good memories for their kids to remember, and share, when they get older.