Thursday, December 28, 2006


First Class Cuts ( Barber Shop ) offers walk in haircuts, however, braiding is by appointment only. Haircuts might be considered as only maintenance, but braiding seems an art form or at least a talented form of knitting, something rendered with deliberation. You don't just pop in for a quick braid.

It meets all of the specifications for a Disappearing Buildings of Character ( DBC ).
We've got the bars on every window. We've got some very snappy painted copy on the exterior. To the left of the door we can see just the top of a very fast disappearing urban icon: the pay telephone. A very fine old standing seam tin roof seems to be holding its own against time and the elements. At the rear we have a tubular frame to which has been lashed sheets of canvas to form a makeshift carport. It has become cover for an outdoor sofa which was fashioned from an automobile seat. Such an amenity is still relatively common in the rural outlands, but it is yet another funky treat on the way out.

To shoo away the sundry jokers who might want waste the time of the busy barbers, the classic NO LOITERING ( On This Property ) sign is affixed just over the point at which that offense is most likely to occur. This is a standard repellent to jokers who tend to raft up in front of such places thus blocking the welcome mat. Such jokers are likely to shot it out with one another on Saturday night, but they're no match for an angry beautician during her business day.

What goes above and beyond the minimum requirements of a DBC is the haunting artwork on the east wall of the place. It appears that hands are being extended from on high to tend the scalps of a varied set of customers. Diversity seems invited. We're not certain whether the hand which appears to come from within the air conditioner is spooky by design or that the AC simply got shoved into the existing artwork.

First Class Cuts is located on the south side of Spring at a point where drivers do not feel encouraged to linger, but keep both eyes out for street folks who tend to wander into the roadway. At around 4:30PM in the winter you are staring straight into a punishing western sun so few passers by get a good look at this little gem.

First Class Cuts sounds like a good name for a butcher shop and some two blocks west once stood Carl Harley Meats which for many years offered truly first class cuts. Mr. Harley's place is long gone with only the faint weathered lettering remaining on his wall. The renovation of the peninsula is now moving like a rolling thunder. The windows in this little tonsorial parlor have begun to rattle. We're trying to keep up.


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