Barber Shop, Baxley

barber shop pole baxley ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

These old barber poles remind of my own first experiences going to the barber shop as a boy in the 1970s. Jesse Bookhardt sums it up best: The old barber poles are not gone but they are few in number. When I was a child these poles were common on all hair-cutting shops. Those were the days when men went to barber shops and women to hair salons. The old poles rotated. When little I didn’t like to get a haircut, for I feared that the barber would lop off my ears when he used a straight razor to shave around them. I don’t remember any ears falling to the hair filled floor, but it was not unusual to get a nick or two. The most interesting thing about these places of business was the people that gathered to have their “ears lowered.” It was definitely a man’s domain and conversations centered on farming, weather, women, fishing, hunting, politics, and who got locked in the jail that was not far down the street. Mr. Thornton of Hazlehurst ran a good shop and there were at least two barbers available on most days.
Often we didn’t go to town to get our hair cut but went to local farm folk who did the job for less. These semi-professionals used old manual hand clippers which snatched out as much hair as they cut and the choice of styles were limited to whatever the cutter could do best. I usually just asked for a G. I. or Flat-top cut. Such cuts cost only 50 cents or less.

2 Comments

Filed under --APPLING COUNTY GA--, Baxley GA

2 responses to “Barber Shop, Baxley

  1. Connie

    Brian,
    When my son was in ninth or tenth grade, his teacher assigned an essay. My son included the phrase, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Teacher ask where he had gotten it and he replied, “Off the wall at the barber shop!” He was referring to a barber shop in Jesup where he enjoyed going because of all the slogans and fishing and hunting decor kept by the barber. The conversation also included tall tales which attracted a boy’s attention.
    He scored well on the essay!

  2. Jesse M. Bookhardt

    Brian,
    Thanks for the memories. The old barber poles are not gone but they are few in number. When I was a child these poles were common on all haircutting shops. Those were the days when men went to barber shops and women to hair salons. The old poles rotated. When little I didn’t like to get a haircut, for I feared that the barber would lop off my ears when he used a straight razor to shave around them. I don’t remember any ears falling to the hair filled floor, but it was not unusual to get a nick or two. The most interesting thing about these places of business was the people that gathered to have their “ears lowered.” It was definitely a man’s domain and conversations centered on farming, weather, women, fishing, hunting, politics, and who got locked in the jail that was not far down the street. Mr. Thornton of Hazlehurst ran a good shop and there were at least two barbers available on most days.
    Often we didn’t go to town to get our hair cut but went to local farm folk who did the job for less. These semi-professionals used old manuel hand clippers which snatched out as much hair as they cut and the choice of styles were limited to whatever the cutter could do best. I usually just asked for a G. I. or Flat-top cut. Such cuts cost only 50 cents or less.

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