Sunday, May 17, 2015

A trip to the barber on the Bankhead

"How's everything?" asks the patient in a grey sweatshirt with long sideburns and auburn Scooby Doo hairstyle.

"Doing ok, is this your first time?" he replies with his white headphones in both ears.

"Yes sir."

The young man takes out his android phone, wakes it up from its screen saver slumber and shows the image to the barber. "Oh, Elvis Presley," he says with a thick accent, uncertain to its Genesis. After sitting down the barber gently places the cape and neck strip on the customer like a person places a table cloth onto a dinner table.

Eyes glare outside as his scissors begin to make its incision.

"Where are you coming from," asks the barber. He has seen many over his 10 years at Palace Barber Shop off Texas Highway 180, formerly part of the historic Bankhead Highway, in Grand Prairie, Texas.

"Denton, Texas"

"Oh wow, how far is that?

"One hour."

"You come this way to get a hair cut?"

"I always wanted to get a haircut at a traditional barber shop and I was on the road today."

As his scissors gently make their way to the patient's right side, the gentleman asks, "Did you know that you are starting to lose your hair? There is no root." As he attempts to alleviate the effects of his shocking finding, he lets the young man know that he had to cover up some of it with other hairs, but that he had a healthy amount of hair on the other side. (Note: It was a only small amount, noticeable only by the speck of an eye)

The red leather chair slowly scratches like fingernails on a black board as he makes his way to the other side. Facing the waiting room, the patient notices a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article on the shop sitting next to a detailed map of Vietnam. To the far right by the door that were two black chairs with latched desks, almost as if he was teaching a lesson each time he took care of a customer.

The buzz of razors tenderly scrapes the particles from the neck as he hands the patient the mirror. After giving his approval he shakes hands and pays the barber.

"Four weeks?" asks the patient.

"Yes sir."

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