Last week was my mid-winter break, and I spent the week working on our short term rental properties. According to Mark Twain, “[H]istory doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” In my case he is wrong: history does repeat itself. I seem to spend every break from school working on these short term rental properties.
I had fewer jobs scheduled for the Asheville house, but they seemed to be more physically demanding: hauling out an old sofa, hauling in a new sofa, putting together the new sofa, as no furniture seems to come assembled these days. The other jobs were minor, in comparison. For the Beaufort house, the jobs seemed to multiply. I started with a list of three projects, but minor jobs seemed to keep popping up. Kathy hung a bag that had to weigh 25 pounds on a hand towel rack that was probably designed to hold at most three pounds, and the hollow wall anchors gave way. The new toggle anchors should hold 100 pounds. She lifted the drain lever in one bathroom sink, and the ball rod, many years old, snapped. Of course, the sink is non-standard, so that repair took a bit longer than expected. Still, after three days of hard work, the list of chores was completed, just in time for me to return to my paying job.
The weather was bad in Asheville. We left a cold and rainy Madison for an even colder and rainier Asheville. Fortunately we did not see snow. The day we left Asheville for Beaufort, we left 40 degree wet weather for 77 degree sunny weather. That, of course, was the last day of good weather in Beaufort, the day we were barely there. Although the temperature wasn’t as cold as in Asheville, it was a bit too cool for short sleeved shirts.
Lest you think it was all work and no play, I have to report the two Beaufort excursions that made my week. The first excursion was to The Lollipop Shop, on West Street, less than a block from Bay Street. It is pointless to pretend that I do not have a sweet tooth: I came by it honestly, through the genes. My maternal grandmother loved her candy. I am hard pressed to pick which she loved the most: hard candy, bubble gum, or snuff, as she was constantly sampling one of the three. She would have loved this shop. Their selection of candy is overwhelming. I have narrowed my focus to Jelly Belly jelly beans. I believe they carry every possible flavor, and in bulk. I generally fill one bag with sour cherry jelly beans, another bag with root beer jelly beans, and a third bag with cream soda jelly beans. I cannot walk by the shop without losing $40.
My second excursion was at 7:30 AM, my normal time to visit Harvey’s Barbershop, on Bay Street. With the exception of my back-to-school haircut last August, this has been my barbershop for more than a year now. Sadly, I do not live in Beaufort, so that means I visit Harvey’s about once every 12 weeks or so. I am generally in serious need of a haircut when I get there.
Furman Harvey opened the barbershop in 1936, and the business is now run by his two sons, Ray and Johnny. By the luck of the draw, Johnny has been my barber on all occasions except for the one time that Ray cut my hair. I don’t plan it that way: I’m always a walk-in, and I go to whichever brother happens to be available.
Harvey’s is a right proper, old-school barbershop. Johnny and Ray are barbers: I would never think to call either a “stylist”. The shelf contains the old bottles that are so familiar: Jeris, Clubman, and Lucky Tiger hair tonics. Johnny’s chair has the requisite leather and canvas strops. Of course, the shaving lather is heated. And the conversation is typical barbershop conversation. It is a pleasant way to pass a few minutes, and an excellent way to start the day.
I am guessing that it was sometime during the 1970s that I began getting my hair cut in a beauty salon. It seems that I was not alone, because barbershops have become hard to find. There is a “barbershop” (complete with barber pole outside) in Madison, but that is run by ladies. No hot lather machine there. I am sure there must be one run by men, but I do not know where it might be.
Thus it is that about once every three months I come to Beaufort to knock out a list of chores, and to spend a few relaxing minutes in the company of my barber. A man will travel quite a distance to find a right proper barbershop.