Tag Archives: Christianity

Barbershop Theology: First Haircut

Because I want to be a responsible citizen and give careful note regarding the topic, I’ll submit this preface. Alcohol abuse is bad.  Drunkenness is bad.  In fact, I would go further and say the only kind of indulgence I have ever seen that isn’t bad is the love of God.

The following recollection is one of my favorite and clearest memories, and for no good reason. I think I just chalk it up to the unique experience a kid could have 40 or 50 years ago. It’s also a tribute to all the other lessons unremembered in the people business.

The Barber’s Son and Shoe Shine Boy

As I have been remembering and writing about the hours I spend in my dad’s barbershop, it has finally dawned on me that what seemed like my entire childhood was actually a short window of time.  I was the shoe shine boy in 1965, and probably didn’t retire completely until 1968. Oh, I was in the shop a lot before and after that, but that was when I logged a lot of hours.

As the shoe shine boy I had the cool job of hanging around as men came and went all day. I listened to all manner of talk about the weather, price of cattle and/or references to hippies. Now that I think of it, hippies never came into the barber shop.

Saturdays and Saturday Nights

Saturdays were long. My dad would open the shop at 7am and we didn’t close until 9pm. I waited most Saturday mornings to go to work with my mom.  She didn’t step behind her chair until a minute past 9 in the morning.  I passed my day by shining shoes for a quarter and slipping off when things got slow to watch guys play pool, maybe play a pin ball machine or splurge to buy a Coke with a shot of cherry or vanilla in it.

On Saturday nights the street in front of the barber shop would always come alive with teenagers “dragging Main”. (Technically it’s Evans Ave. but I only throw that in for posterity.)  Continue reading Barbershop Theology: First Haircut

Barbershop Theology: Mortality, the Mortician, and Me

It was cold. I remember that.

I had just started my part of the closing routine in Caldwell’s Barber Shop, sweeping clumps of hair, filling the lather machine, and straightening up the magazine tables. I was at the barber shop following a day at school. Mainly, I was just killing time and hoping we could close promptly at 6:00. I was anxious to go home.

The barber shop door opened and I turned to see Mr. Crews entering. I figured he would sit and wait. He would be the final customer of the day.

Mr. Crews owned the funeral home in Apache, Oklahoma. In fact, these many years later, it’s still Crews Funeral Home located in the middle of town. I always thought Mr. Crews was a really nice guy. But the funeral director didn’t sit. He walked over to my dad and said something, Dad nodded his head. Mr. Crews left.

Dad finished the haircut, thanked his customer and said, “thank you, come back.” (He always said that.)

Then Dad unplugged his clippers and wrapped them in a fresh towel. He placed a pair of scissors in his breast pocket, turned off the lights and as I was already moving toward the door. I ran to jump in the pick-up truck. I started the vehicle since the keys were right there in the ignition.

I slid across to the passenger’s side as Dad climbed in behind the steering wheel. We drove all of a half a block and stopped at Crews’ Funeral Home.

“What are you going to do?” I asked, though I could have guessed.

“Just wait in the pick-up,” he said.

“Are you going to cut a dead guy’s hair?” Continue reading Barbershop Theology: Mortality, the Mortician, and Me

Barbershop Theology: Let’s Make a Deal, Pt. 2

Peter was shocked; he was insulted. He protested the notion that he would EVER deny his Lord. Jesus rightly predicted Peter’s infidelity. Jesus knew Peter much better than this famous disciple knew himself.

“Lord, I would never do such a thing,” Peter objected.

Jesus calmly replied, “Not only will you deny me once, but you’ll deny me three times.” And Jesus said it would happen before the rooster was well into his morning.

Good Intentions

The thing is, most of us have good intentions. Whether to read the bible more, attend church more regularly, or to start exercising, the spirit is willing.

I’m not going to cuss and no more throwing my golf clubs; I’m nixing the desserts and I’ll stop saying negative things about anybody. It’s the right idea and a great plan. Jesus looks at us, smiles and says, “Grace to you.” I know this. He continually extends that portion to me.

The Barber’s Son and The Deal

On the main street of our little town, all the businesses were owned by our friends and neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Elliot opened and closed Elliot’s Department store. We purchased our jeans and underwear there. Mr. and Mrs. Hodge operated Hodge’s Grocery Store. He was in the back working as the butcher and she at the counter smiling and saying, “Thank you for coming in.”

We had Evan’s Drugstore, Inman’s Variety Store, Swanda’s Insurance, Lynch’s Western Store, Malone Ford, Kardokus Implements and perhaps the quintessential period piece general store, Levite’s. I can still recall the family names of gas station proprietors. And my favorite spot just a few doors up from Caldwell’s Barber Shop —- George’s Pool Hall. Continue reading Barbershop Theology: Let’s Make a Deal, Pt. 2

Three Laughs with the Wizard of Oz: A Profile of Bob Waldrop

Editor’s Note – Today across Oklahoma, thousands of citizens are picking up their Oklahoma Food Cooperative orders.  They’ll be assisted by hundreds of volunteers to pick and check their orders from producers all over the state.  We’re re-running this essay we posted last October as a reminder to consider joining this highly positive system of sustainability in Oklahoma.  Later today, we’ll introduce you to a Storm Tracker and his life. Have a wonderful day ~ The Editor

Bob Waldrop - Photo borrowed from his Facebook page with permission.

I recently ran into someone who went to church where Bob Waldrop serves as the Director of Music.  When his name came up they responded, “Oh, yeah…we know him.  We call him the Great and Powerful Oz.  That guy really is something else.”  They laughed and I joined them.  I joined them for the same reason that anyone would join in a joke:  because it was true.  I had never put my finger on a description that fit this man, but people within his congregation at the Church of the Epiphany had summed it up in one phrase.

“The Wizard of Oz” was a character who was revered, feared, was a mystery and who people thought might just have the answers or solutions to every problem they carried with them.  However, the Wizard ended up being a down to earth human being who had done the best he could to build an idea from which hundreds and possibly thousands of people had benefited.  He also, however, contained the notions and practicality of finding virtues in those who sought him out; he was able to pass along something of value to them so that they believed in themselves…and in something bigger than themselves.  Yes, Bob was Oz. Continue reading Three Laughs with the Wizard of Oz: A Profile of Bob Waldrop

Barbershop Theology: Identify Theft

"Lady Barber," ~ WW II era, photo curteousy of Carol Pearse

Who are you? The class clown? The jock, the drama girl, the tall guy, the dud with the funny laugh?  He’s the cowboy, she’s the artist. It’s interesting how we identify ourselves and others.

Sometimes our profession becomes our identity.  I am a doctor, a teacher, a plumber, a mechanic, or a zoo keeper.  That’s a good one — Zoo Keeper.

For a part of her life my mom was “the lady barber.” In fact, I was with her just the other day and she referred to herself as a retired barber. I thought it was odd at the time, I mean; she does about a hundred other things really, really well. She is a singer, an artist, a collector, a genealogist, a Sunday school teacher, a mom and she is Grandma.

Back to the “lady barber” moniker – Dad’s shop had two barber chairs and he was particularly busy on Tuesday afternoons and all day Saturday. Mom got her barbers license and went to work on those days. If you called her a hair dresser you would be corrected immediately. She far prefers the title barber. Believe me, she would have no problem setting that record straight. Continue reading Barbershop Theology: Identify Theft