It's a re-re-run, too. You'll note there's a reference in the first line below about haircuts bein' all the rage these days... well, that's still true. But we digress.
I'll be glad when my muse gets back from wherever she ran off to with whomever she's with. I hope she's having a good time.
The Saturday Re-RunHaircuts and barber shops seem to be all the rage lately. And yeah, we has us a barber shop blogging tee shirt or two. From January of 2006... one of my earliest efforts:I added the image today; we didn't do all that much picture posting in the beginning. The pic is obviously NOT related to the post, coz that's SN3 getting his first haircut. He was a real trooper about the whole thing, too.
I forgot to tell you a couple of things about my barber shop experience yesterday, chief among which is the price. Inflation being what it is, the price of a haircut in Portales went up from nine dollars to ten. Still cheap, after all. But I pay about half again as much as I used to, when I patronized the sheep-shearers at the Cannon AFB Base Exchange. The upside is I get a much more personal experience and better service, to boot. The average time-in-the-chair at the BX was about seven minutes, on the outside; I spent at least 45 minutes in the chair yesterday. Yesterday my ten dollars (plus tip, of course) bought me a beard trim, too. The downside is Jay doesn't quite have the physical attributes of my former barberess, who occasionally treated me to inadvertent and unintended, in a lascivious way, brushes with her soft bits. Those were nice.
Which leads me to tell you about the best haircut I ever got in my life, a birthday gift from a very eccentric friend of mine from days gone by, Rick Hovarter. Before I tell you about the haircut, let me digress and give you a flavor for what Rick was like.
I first met Rick in Klamath Falls, Oregon. We were both stationed at Kingsley Field, he a meteorological equipment technician, me a radar guy. I’m not quite sure how we first met, but I’ll never forget the first time I walked into his room in the dorm. Rick was a bit older than the average young enlisted troop, being in his mid-twenties. Old, for a two-striper. Rick was also, to put it mildly, a bit strange. He had a fascination for antique Americana, and by that I mean his prized possessions were, just to name three, a fully-functional Underwood typewriter, circa 1925; a beautifully finished and immaculately lacquered propeller from an old Jenny biplane; and an original and pristine 1941 Mercury two-door sedan that had been in his family since it was new. The prop and the typewriter were prominently displayed in his dorm room. I used to love riding around in that old Merc, too. Rick had an antique 30-caliber revolver in the glove box of the Mercury and had the disconcerting habit (to me) of occasionally pulling off to the side of the road while we were riding around the Oregon countryside to pop off a few rounds at gophers and other assorted varmints. Out the window of the Merc. Most of the time he’d fire out of the driver’s window, other times he’d lean across the seat and fire out of the passenger window. Drove me nuts, that did.
Anyway. We became fast friends. As is the case in military life, I left Kingsley Field and was reassigned to Yokota AB, Japan. A few months after I arrived at Yokota I walked into the dining hall for lunch and who did I see in the line ahead of me? Rick. A great and good surprise, and we took up where we left off.
Fast forward a couple of months, to my birthday. I had the day off and was lying in my bed in the dorm early in the morning, wondering what I was gonna do, when someone knocked on my door. I got up, answered the door, and let Rick into the room. Rick told me to get dressed and come with him; he was going to give me my birthday present.
We went to breakfast first, brunch, actually (Rick bought), then got into Rick’s old Toyopet Cedric and drove off-base into The Ville (Fussa City, right outside Yokota’s main gate.). Rick parked the car, we got out, and he said “follow me.” We then walked down an alley and into a barber shop. There waiting for us was an old man, the barber, and two young Japanese maidens, all three smiling broadly. The old man waved me into one of the barber chairs, and I dutifully sat. The old man reclined the barber chair and I stretched out, fully supine. One of the girls then proceeded to take off my shoes and socks, while the other fetched a large handful of steaming towels from a container. She artfully wrapped my entire head in those towels, leaving a small space for me to breathe through. All the while this is going on, the other girl is washing my feet. After a few minutes, the second girl unwraps my face and the barber proceeds to shave me. The first girl is still working on my feet, giving me a pedicure and ending up with a prolonged and wonderful foot massage. After the barber finished shaving me I was escorted to a wash stand where the first girl washed and towel-dried my hair. Then it was back to the barber chair for the actual haircut while the two girls gave me a manicure. The whole experience ended with both girls massaging my entire upper body. I walked out of that place feeling like a million bucks, and I’ve never had a “haircut” like that, ever again. A truly unique experience, and classic Hovarter.
I lost touch with Rick after leaving Yokota and have often wondered what became of him. We certainly had some wild times, equal to or exceeding the haircut experience. I miss the boy!