It’s Christmas Eve here, a brilliant bright morning, and I am so filled with nostalgia that you would just PYUKE to be having coffee with me this morning.
I break out into “The First Noel” with NO NOTICE. I’ve already sneaked an early reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. At the rate I’m going, I may bring out the figgy pudding. RUN AWAY!
The Barber Shop Closes
I can tell you when this nostalgic mood started. Yesterday, the Belle Meade Barber Shop had its last day in its legendary location. This is the sort of monumental loss to Nashville that ranks up there with the closing of the soda shop Vandyland, the bulldozing of the Jacksonian apartments, and the loss of Steve McNair to the Baltimore Ravens.
Paul—fabulous trivia king Paul—gave both of my fellas their first haircut. Everybody in the family has used the Belle Meade Barber Shop for years: Hubbo, my dad, Hubbo’s dad.
I loved going to the barber shop, because it was an environment completely untouched by any female. This barber shop is what the world would be like if women were not allowed a hand in decorating.
This set of numbers has stayed in this exact arrangement, always. I have never seen a tag not on its hook.
This eight-track tape deck has always been in this location.
Haircuts were $10 when we started coming. I think the price for “Tonic” is still a dollar because nobody knows what “Tonic” means anymore.
A young barber, Shane, has bought the business from the beloved Ralph, who has been a barber for 46 years. He’s retiring, cheerfully. We saw a stream of congressmen, long-term customers (“You’ve cut my hair for 25/16/17/10 years”), and unruly children come through. The good men of the Belle Meade Barber Shop thanked everybody right back. The barber shop will move to Bellevue, and we’ll keep going, but it will be different.
And yes, the wives of customers brought tray after tray of baked goods, which the barbers stacked in empty barber chairs, mystified about how to arrange them.
See You Next Year!
We’re heading to London on the 26th. How is it that somebody so very pale and who likes a cloudy day so much has never managed to get to England? Maybe it’s because I suspect I’ll never want to come back. Anyway, I’m hoping to visit the epicenter of the knitting universe, Liberty, on Thursday night, the 28th. If you’re a Londoner, and you’d like to come knit, please email me.
Wishing everybody a long winter’s nap!