Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Where Men Could Be Men

Acme Barber Shop, Black Mountain, NC  -  2013
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Several years ago I posted a photo of a "family" barber shop in Canton, and lamented the demise of real "men's" barber shops. Now, I think most people go to "stylists" who do both men's and women's hair. That's fine, but I can remember when men went to barber shops, and women went to beauty parlors. I think it's good when each gender has it's own place. I caught some flak for that post, but let's face it, there's times when we men enjoy being with women, and there's times when we enjoy just being with other men. I'm sure women feel the same way. When did that become not OK?

A man's barber shop had a certain smell to it, mainly from the hair products that barbers used that had a distinctly masculine aroma. The magazines were men's magazines: Sports Illustrated, Popular Mechanics, Hot Rod, and Field & Stream were the only offerings in the magazine rack at Wack Brothers Barber Shop where I grew up. (How's that for a name?) The conversations were about the things men like to talk about: sports, fishing, local politics, cars, etc. Even when I was too young to participate in these conversations, I enjoyed hearing my Dad and the other guys talk about "man things". After the hair cut, everyone went back the the world  of moms, wives, and sisters, but for an hour or so it was neat to enjoy the world of "just us guys". I'm glad that there are still a few places like that, and I hope they never go away completely. Acme Barber Shop was closed when I visited Black Mountain, but I like to imagine that it's that kind of place.

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