The Haircut

By John Dilworth · April 30, 2011

A story about a late night visit to my 92 year old grandfather

Orvis at Barber Shop

It was about 10:30 pm, I had just spent the last couple hours listening to my grandfather’s stories. As the conversation was about to wind down, and we were to retire for the evening, I removed my hat and revealed a head of hair that would not pass the acceptability test of a life long barber. Orvis was determined to give me a haircut, he put on his coat, grabbed his keys and took me down the street to his barber shop.

When I was a child, I would walk over to his shop after school. My father was working there also, and I’d hang out and sweep the the hair away as it fell from the heads of his customers. I’d always end up with a few dollars before the shop closed each evening. As I worked, I’d listen to my grandfather tell stories. He’d exchange stories with his customers—about life, politics, gardening, and anything that they might like to talk about. No one would leave that chair without a smile on their face.

Orvis became a barber at the onset of World War II. He was volunteered to be the company barber after someone had learned he had experience sheering sheep. He made 25¢ for each haircut, and after the war had saved enough money to begin a lifelong career as a barber.

I’ll have to emphasize the part about being a “life-long” career. It is a rare treat to have your hair cut by someone 92 years of age, and even rarer to have it done at 11:00 pm.

This story was first posted on Cowbird where it has enjoyed a good number of views, likes and comments.