Wednesday, August 6, 2008

brookland houses and gardens


nice porch 
barber's chair with rust and rotting leather seat

I went for a late afternoon walk last week and saw a few interesting things in the blocks around our apartment. I have been admiring this big house on the corner of 12th street for a few years. When I first discovered it the owner was working on the columns of the front porch. He had stripped all the paint down to the wood and was priming them white to portect them from the Carpenter Bees! He told me that he lives elsewhere but keeps this house with plans to refurbish it in it's original style as best he can, " the Sears and Roebuck mail order house"  is a beauty with it's matching garage for a dainty Model - T Ford.
Orange: I found the little garage from earlier this spring behind the dogwood tree on Sigsbee St. is looking hot in the summer heat under the big fir tree. Then further along, I caught sight of a big concrete pig in one yard surrounded by plants, stones and gravel with no lawn to mow, it is a very green design. This porch  looked very welcoming to me I imaged how nice it would be to sit and rock in a chair or glide on a glider and talk while the world went by there. Finally there was an unkempt yard behind a broken down gate that had two old barbers chairs sitting rusting and rotting in the shade. This chair brought so many memories back that I had to take a shot and show you. This chair reminded me of childhood hair cuts. I liked to hear the straight edge razor blades swiping over the long leather strops. After the buzz of the hair clippers for my flat top haircut we always got a quick shave of the neck and around ears before we were done. Barber finished clipping the head dusted the face and shoulders then he opened the collar clip to curl down the paper collar and dust away any hairs that got down your neck. He retightened the clip that held the apron and paper in place lower on the neck then applied the hot foamy shaving cream to the neck and above the ear. Next came the sound of stropping quickly smacking the razor back and forth on the leather strop attached to the counter top or the chair I forget, then he carefully trimmed all the edges.  Last after the apron and collar came off the barber applied the special tonic and finished it off with some powder and more dusting of your face and clothes with his big brush. My Dad used to say we were," going to get our ears lowered." I always got visions of my ears being sliced off by those big old barbers stropping their shinny cutthroat razors but they are still in tact so I see now it was just a joke after all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ask David about his trip to old town Manassas barber shop when he was 8 or 9, the sticky hair tonic, and the swarm of bees that followed him and his sweet smelling tonic head as he ran to get away from them! It was hilarious! Mom & I almost died laughing. All we heard from behind us was "HEY! Wait for me!" We turned around and David was running and swatting at his head; he almost tripped and fell over a telephone line pole trying to catch up w/us and lose his newly found friends!