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.
“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