A Barber’s Wisdom

Jul 08, 2024 94

BY: Jerry Il’Giovine

MY FATHER LEFT HIS BARBERSHOP to work in construction years before I was born, yet he never stopped cutting hair. If you knew Gennaro well enough to visit his Italian home in Cleveland’s inner city, it entitled you to free kitchen haircuts for life. Try finding that in any book on proper hosting etiquette. In any case, it was one helluva perk for his family, friends, and one improbable guest in our ethnic neighborhood.

I returned home from playing outside one Saturday afternoon in 1963, just eleven years old, to an all-too familiar sight. Someone plunked down in the middle of our kitchen draped in a pinstriped barbershop cape receiving the royal treatment. Two empty coffee mugs and an open pastry box from Hough Bakeries were sitting on the table. Pop stood behind the swaddled figure, positioning the man’s head downward about to groom the back of his neck. I naturally glanced to see who it was as I made my way toward the living room.

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SOURCE: https://orderisda.org

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