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Old 02-17-2018, 01:38 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,635 posts, read 17,606,575 times
Reputation: 27701

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At some point, many of us realize it's best to pass the torch to the next generation. I want to talk to you about things as American as apple pie and Thanksgiving - barbering and baseball.

I've had the same barber for roughly a decade when I've lived in the area. He turned 91 back in October, and founded the shop in the early 1960s. I'm a simple person as far as haircuts go these days - I've lost quite a bit of hair since I was a young man, and the remaining hair doesn't grow in a uniform manner. I just buzz it down with neatly shaved sideburns and edges, and I don't like loose hairs. I could pass for a Marine if you only saw my face. Sadly, I'm too chubby to be admissible for service.

The elderly barber last cut my hair the first week of December. He seemed fine, but his wife has had health issues over the last few years. Years ago, he sold the shop to a relative spring chicken, who is in his early 70s now. I don't think the older man expected to continue working so long. I went back to the barbershop the week after Christmas, and Clarence (the 70 something) told me that Ed (the 91 year old) decided to hang it up. Ed has been more of a grandfather to me than one of my biological grandfathers, and we've always gotten along well. We're both baseball nuts, and love to talk baseball statistics. We're both Reds fans. He grew up in eastern Kentucky. We share a common background and views. Ed is a World War II veteran and the definition of Americana.

Clarence cut my hair back in December. Clarence had a lot of hard words to say about Ed when I was sitting in the barber's chair. Ed didn't work hard enough. Ed laid out all the time toward the end. Everything negative you can think of. Clarence is a Democrat - Ed and me are Republicans. Ed is twenty years older than Clarence. Clarence never served. I was really shocked that he just unloaded on me about Ed in that way, knowing Ed and me are close. It upset me. I wanted to knock the taste of his mouth for his rudeness and disrespect. Ed is always smiling and positive, even in his 90s. Clarence is much more negative. In my mind, Clarence will never be half the man Ed is. They have one other barber named Toby, but Toby has been dead for several years now.

Ed called me back this week, and wants to go to breakfast at Shoney's before I go to work Wednesday morning. We're going to meet at 6:45 that morning for breakfast. He's a good man, basically the second grandpa I never had (even though one of my real grandpas is alive) and it's the least I can do for him. His only grandson is my age and we went to school together, but he moved to Arizona years ago and never talks to Ed. He's been hinting around about going to a Reds game. He's reasonably well now, but has a handicapped sticker. How many more years does he have left? I'm going to ask him Wednesday if he wants to go to opening weekend. If he does, I'm taking a couple days PTO and taking him to Cincinnati. At 91, there's probably not that much time left to get out and do things like this. We have to enjoy the time we have.

Younger male barbers are hard to find around here. Barbering is, supposedly, a dying industry. Many men are going to Great Clips for an $8 cut rather than a local men's barber who knows his patrons. One of my cousins is friends with a barber around our age - Ron is probably early-mid 30s. I went to him for a haircut last Saturday. Ron has worked for bigger local shops but struck out on his own a few weeks ago. He cuts hair openly carrying a pistol. He's very personable and gets on well with the kids. The guy was made to be a barber.

I'm officially passing the torch now. I've mostly had barbers old enough to be my grandfather. Ed was basically the last man standing of that generation. He's decided to hang it up and enjoy the time he has left. His business partner might be rude, but that doesn't mean people forget Ed. He's loved and valued, but his time has passed. Ron bought the building of a barber who has been retired for many years. Ron is the next generation, he's close to my age, and he is who I will be going to. I'd love to get Ron and Ed together for a picture for the history of Kingsport. In the short time I've known Ron, he's carrying the good traditions forward. They couldn't look more different. Ed is a nondescript 91 year old. Ron is a guy in his 30s openly carrying, heavily tattooed, with many rings and jewelry. Yet both of them are great barbers and better men.

As an older person, have you yet felt the need to pass the torch? How are you going about it?
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:10 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,921 posts, read 42,175,279 times
Reputation: 43330
Well, for one, I retired.

I'm now in the process of withdrawing from the public service things I've done for the last 30+ years. Although there are a few people urging me to not do so. Actually quite a few. They may eventually win out as I'm now reconsidering.

My oldest son has somewhat taken the above activities over from me, although he needs to get past the election in November.

I now let the kids take over the leisure time activities we do together when they are there. Or as my hunting partner says, "We're too damned old to be humping goose decoys over three acres of field". Which actually isn't a problem for me.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Orlando
2,003 posts, read 2,644,275 times
Reputation: 7671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
At some point, many of us realize it's best to pass the torch to the next generation. I want to talk to you about things as American as apple pie and Thanksgiving - barbering and baseball.

I've had the same barber for roughly a decade when I've lived in the area. He turned 91 back in October, and founded the shop in the early 1960s. I'm a simple person as far as haircuts go these days - I've lost quite a bit of hair since I was a young man, and the remaining hair doesn't grow in a uniform manner. I just buzz it down with neatly shaved sideburns and edges, and I don't like loose hairs. I could pass for a Marine if you only saw my face. Sadly, I'm too chubby to be admissible for service.

The elderly barber last cut my hair the first week of December. He seemed fine, but his wife has had health issues over the last few years. Years ago, he sold the shop to a relative spring chicken, who is in his early 70s now. I don't think the older man expected to continue working so long. I went back to the barbershop the week after Christmas, and Clarence (the 70 something) told me that Ed (the 91 year old) decided to hang it up. Ed has been more of a grandfather to me than one of my biological grandfathers, and we've always gotten along well. We're both baseball nuts, and love to talk baseball statistics. We're both Reds fans. He grew up in eastern Kentucky. We share a common background and views. Ed is a World War II veteran and the definition of Americana.

Clarence cut my hair back in December. Clarence had a lot of hard words to say about Ed when I was sitting in the barber's chair. Ed didn't work hard enough. Ed laid out all the time toward the end. Everything negative you can think of. Clarence is a Democrat - Ed and me are Republicans. Ed is twenty years older than Clarence. Clarence never served. I was really shocked that he just unloaded on me about Ed in that way, knowing Ed and me are close. It upset me. I wanted to knock the taste of his mouth for his rudeness and disrespect. Ed is always smiling and positive, even in his 90s. Clarence is much more negative. In my mind, Clarence will never be half the man Ed is. They have one other barber named Toby, but Toby has been dead for several years now.

Ed called me back this week, and wants to go to breakfast at Shoney's before I go to work Wednesday morning. We're going to meet at 6:45 that morning for breakfast. He's a good man, basically the second grandpa I never had (even though one of my real grandpas is alive) and it's the least I can do for him. His only grandson is my age and we went to school together, but he moved to Arizona years ago and never talks to Ed. He's been hinting around about going to a Reds game. He's reasonably well now, but has a handicapped sticker. How many more years does he have left? I'm going to ask him Wednesday if he wants to go to opening weekend. If he does, I'm taking a couple days PTO and taking him to Cincinnati. At 91, there's probably not that much time left to get out and do things like this. We have to enjoy the time we have.

Younger male barbers are hard to find around here. Barbering is, supposedly, a dying industry. Many men are going to Great Clips for an $8 cut rather than a local men's barber who knows his patrons. One of my cousins is friends with a barber around our age - Ron is probably early-mid 30s. I went to him for a haircut last Saturday. Ron has worked for bigger local shops but struck out on his own a few weeks ago. He cuts hair openly carrying a pistol. He's very personable and gets on well with the kids. The guy was made to be a barber.

I'm officially passing the torch now. I've mostly had barbers old enough to be my grandfather. Ed was basically the last man standing of that generation. He's decided to hang it up and enjoy the time he has left. His business partner might be rude, but that doesn't mean people forget Ed. He's loved and valued, but his time has passed. Ron bought the building of a barber who has been retired for many years. Ron is the next generation, he's close to my age, and he is who I will be going to. I'd love to get Ron and Ed together for a picture for the history of Kingsport. In the short time I've known Ron, he's carrying the good traditions forward. They couldn't look more different. Ed is a nondescript 91 year old. Ron is a guy in his 30s openly carrying, heavily tattooed, with many rings and jewelry. Yet both of them are great barbers and better men.

As an older person, have you yet felt the need to pass the torch? How are you going about it?
SC, this was really fun to read. You ought to be a blogger, or an old-fashioned essayist.

I don't know why but as I read your post, I kept hearing it being read in Garrison Keillor's voice.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:33 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,920 posts, read 1,593,647 times
Reputation: 7964
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
...He cuts hair openly carrying a pistol...
Unless this guy's shop has a problem with poisonous snakes getting in I wouldn't go near him because of whatever point he's trying to prove by this asinine pose.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:49 AM
 
Location: The Ozone Layer, apparently...
1,906 posts, read 676,906 times
Reputation: 3955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
Unless this guy's shop has a problem with poisonous snakes getting in I wouldn't go near him because of whatever point he's trying to prove by this asinine pose.
You are in NYC, therefore, you will never understand. Out in America, guns are only feared by criminals.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:37 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,213 posts, read 1,352,704 times
Reputation: 6368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post



As an older person, have you yet felt the need to pass the torch? How are you going about it?

When I retired in Dec 2010, I didn't exactly think about passing the torch. But jobs were tight at that time and I felt I was opening up a job for a younger person.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:43 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,213 posts, read 1,352,704 times
Reputation: 6368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
Unless this guy's shop has a problem with poisonous snakes getting in I wouldn't go near him because of whatever point he's trying to prove by this asinine pose.
I missed that when reading the original post. I wouldn't go there either, and certainly wouldn't take a kid there.

Why would anyone need a gun in a barber shop? He's already got a deadly weapon in his hand most of the time -- scissors.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:45 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,920 posts, read 1,593,647 times
Reputation: 7964
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComeCloser View Post
You are in NYC, therefore, you will never understand. Out in America, guns are only feared by criminals.
I live in America & I know a lot of kids & parents that fear guns unless they are hunting, don't be so holier than thou. Anybody wearing a weapon in a retail store has a problem or a (bad) attitude.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Whidbey Island, WA
12,273 posts, read 11,333,803 times
Reputation: 6124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
I live in America & I know a lot of kids & parents that fear guns unless they are hunting, don't be so holier than thou. Anybody wearing a weapon in a retail store has a problem or a (bad) attitude.
I suggest that you drive across this great country of ours and get to know people. Go slow.
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:21 PM
 
28,266 posts, read 39,934,162 times
Reputation: 36786
My version of passing the torch was scanning all the information I could get my hands on after my mother passed away. It took me 25 years to get some of her albums from my oldest brother. Even though I told everyone in the family I would return anything after I scanned it. I still haven't received the rest of the albums and diaries, etc from another brother, and it's now been 37 years.

I ended up scanning almost 2000 images of pictures, marriage certificates, letters, obits, etc. Some were birth and death notices from one of my great grandfathers that was a doctor on the ships returning slaves to Liberia.



Another was a single line in a small book a grandfather wrote in every day, "Earthquake in San Francisco." The same grandfather wrote this:



If I had not scanned these images they would have sat in a drawer (or been thrown away) and not seen by family members.

After scanning I copied everything to CDs and sent them to over 20 people.

I wish I could get the rest of the items so I could scan them. No one else will. Two years ago the brother who has the items announced he was going to scan it all, copy it to usb drives and send it to everyone. Not a single image has been scanned. Typical of that brother. And he refuses to let me do it.
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