Hometown Fun

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*****This is a story of fiction, however the places described really existed until just a few years ago

 

My work as a real estate advisor and takes me all over the country.  My biggest client is a chef that people see on TV everyday who owns 10 restaurants in the Eastern United States.  He just asked me to find a location for his newest idea, and it just happened to be in the area of my hometown.  I hadn’t been home in 4 years, but for the most part it had remained the same place it always was.  The downtown area was full of bars, restaurants and small shops, but the place I was here to scout was a 100 year bank building.  My client had a whole theme planned out for a bar and eatery in an old bank, and this one seemed to be perfect.  The only part of the building my client cared about was the bank itself, any other parts of it were left to me to manage as I saw fit or sell them off.  The bank was a three story building in a long row of connected buildings.  It has two stores attached to the one side and some offices and apartments on the upper floors.

 

As I looked around the other shops near the bank I noticed the same 2 barbers shops that I remembered from years ago were still open

for business.  I wasn’t surprised that the owners from my youth, both white haired old men were no longer around.  That afternoon I was supposed to meet with the local realtor to look at the upper floors of the bank to determine what I would do with them.  I was waiting out front by the door that led upstairs and trying to remember what had been in the front offices when I was younger.  I could remember just about every, but just couldn’t recall anything being in there.  When the agent got there we started on the third floor which had 8 fully occupied apartments, 4 on each side of the stairway, then we went down to the second floor.  The left side which was directly over the bank had another 4 apartments, all of which were also leased out.  The 12 units alone would provide a healthy return for very little effort, so I agreed to let the realtor manage the apartments for me.

 

We then moved to the commercial units on the right side of the second floor.  The first 2 units had been used as storage for the bank for years, and now sat empty, not worth remodeling.  As we moved towards the other two units I saw the sign on the front unit “Bill’s Barber Shop”, and my memory returned.  When I was younger, I remember my dad always sending my brother, who was 5 years older than me, for his haircuts there.  My brother always ended up with a butch haircut until he started junior high school.  I never knew why but my mother always had me go to the barbershop in the shopping center uptown, and I was never scalped like my brother was.

 

I was stunned as the shop was opened, and saw the entire shop was still intact, untouched in over 25 years.   The agent started telling me she could have a demo team clean the unit out by next week.  We then walked to the end unit and I was in for another surprise. The door read “Betty’s Beauty Salon”.  We opened the unit, and just like the barbershop, in front of my eyes was a complete 60’s era beauty parlor.  It looked like the doors were closed many years ago, and the place had just been forgotten.

 

I asked the agent about the 2 units and she told me the tragic story about what had happened to Betty and Bill.  It was 1972, and after a day in the salon, Betty stumbled on the steps and ended up breaking her hip.  Bill had always hoped that someday his wife would recover enough to open her shop again, so he always renewed the lease to keep Betty’s hopes up.  Bill kept his shop going throughout the rest of the 70’s, then in 1980, Bill had a heart attack, forcing his retirement.  By that time most of the second floor offices in the downtown area buildings were vacant, so the bank decided to to leave the units as they were until they were needed for storage.  As the banking industry became more and more digital, the suites became largely forgotten.

 

I immediately knew that I wanted the office areas for myself and after the purchased was finalized, I hired a couple of trusted friends to make the few changes that I wanted done.  I had an electronic security door put in to separate my space from the public areas and I had one of the vacant offices converted to living space.  The next thing was to have multiple cameras in the barbershop and salon to be able to catch everything that happened inside.

 

The first customer was my wife, who has been indulging me for many years now.  My wife is one of the few women who prefers short hair, so with her current pixie-hawk style, I knew we were not going to the beauty parlor.  My wife has been going to a female barber for years, so the sights of the old shop didn’t surprise her at all.  She hopped right into the old barber chair and waited her fate.  I had previously gotten the ancient clippers all oiled up and ready to so I quickly caped her and asked her “Okay miss, what would you like me to do?”  All she said was “I was thinking something shorter for summer.”  I had been cutting her hair on and off for 20 years and I have buzzed her hair quite short before, but this time called for something special.  There was a large selection of clippers to chose from but I knew I would not be needing the larger blades.  Her back and sides were quickly taken down to 1/8 inch after which white-walled the sides halfway between her ears and the top of her head.  The top was next, and even though I was tempted to give her a bit of a soft crew-cut, I knew what needed to be done.  Bills Barbershop was known for one style of cut, so like my brother had received many times, I plowed the clippers straight thru her faux-hawk, she was going to walk out with the same butch haircut that many young boys all received years ago.

 

I thought she might be a little pissed at me for the butch, but we headed for the adjoining apartment, not leaving until later the next day.  The video of her in the chair was one I would enjoy for years to come.  I had quietly let several hair enthusiast and BDSM acquaintances know that I would rent the space out for their needs as long as I get to keep the videos.  It wasn’t long before I had a very large digital library for sale on my new website.

 

My wife’s butch unfortunately was a one and done.  She started going back to her barberette as soon as she needed another cut.  She does let me color her hair in the beauty parlor every month, but I still ask her every summer if she’s ready to go into the barbershop again.  I am hoping it’s a real hot summer this year.

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