Red Rogers Barbershop

Suzanne Rogers Boyd

My whole life, Daddy was up by 4 am to go to work. He would take my mother a cup of coffee, in bed, every morning. He'd say, "Wake up, Jodie Blonde (her nickname)," and kiss her goodbye.

As kids, my brother and I were dropped off at daddy's barbershop and we walked to school from there. We helped him out by sweeping, filling the hot lather machines, loading the paper neck wraps, etc. After school, we walked back to the shop and Mom picked us up after she got off work.

My favorite, and yet most embarrassing moment in front of my Daddy at his shop was the time he asked me to go next door to Lotherbachs Grocery and get him an orange. I did, and had Pat the cashier peel it for me so Daddy wouldn't have to.

When I returned, Daddy said "I didn't want an orange, sister, I wanted an orange soda." (He used to call me Sister). With customers in the shop, I wanted to die, but cried instead. I went back and got him the soda and sat outside crying until my Mother picked us up.

It never surprised me to walk in on an old-fashioned "jam session." Daddy was also a great fiddler, so he and his fiddling buddies would break out with "Orange Blossom Special," or whatever they were in the mood to play. I spent many hours listening to him play that fiddle in the shop.

One of the things I admired about my Daddy and being a barber was the way he took care of other people. Many days when he got off work, he would go to the homes of his older clients who could no longer make it into the shop. He'd cut their hair and ask for nothing in return. However, when he came home with a basket of fresh eggs, we knew he had been to visit "that little lady." We never knew her name.

He was also no stranger at the V.A. Hospital. He cut many of the patients' hair on a routine basis, again asking nothing in return.

I'll never forget the way the barbershop smelled: bubble gum and hair tonic. Daddy kept a big box of Super Bubble bubble gum in his cabinet by his chair. Everyone got a piece (some of us more than one.) Smelling that particular bubble gum, to this day, takes me right back to that shop. It's nice.

These are my wonderful memories of my Daddy and Red Rogers Barbershop. Good old country music and good old barbering. What more could you ask for?

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