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Barber Pole


Many years ago, one of the NYC daily papers did an article on barber poles and how they were gone (extinct). A few existed and were kept locked at night lest they be stolen. My barber at the time was featured in the article. His shop was called the Three Aces. A picture on the wall showed three deer hunters with fresh kills hanging. …except in one of the pictures they had cut out the hunter – presumably, the third ace who no longer seemed to work there or who had fallen out of favor somehow. The barbershop was up the block from where we lived and David was the guinea pig to try getting a haircut there first. He was maybe six or seven. He was cooperative and compliant so the barber took him on as a customer. At the end of each cut he got a lolly pop. His sister got one too since she sat patiently while he was trimmed. Then one day I took Dave alone. Afterward, the barber gave him two lolly pops – one for his sister… He promptly tore off the wrappers and stuck one pop in each side of his mouth. My quizzical look prompted the reply, “Jules will never know.” So, I started going too. And Dave would ask me if which “old guy” I used. It was pretty random. But there were new old guys that came and went which led to some strange comments like, “No, this time I got the new old guy.” To which Dave would ask, “The new old guy or the new new old guy, or the old new guy.” Needless to say, it would have been easier if we knew some names. But that is something neither of us ever became privy to.

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