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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

REVISITING VINTAGE BARBER SHOP IN SCOTTSDALE

Like most cities Scottsdale, Arizona depends on goods and services primarily from the corporate world.  That’s life today but occasionally it’s nice to break the habit and buy something from a local independent entrepreneur.

This was easy many years ago as there were plenty of local businesses like diners and restaurants that cooked hamburgers in a way today’s chain restaurants can only dream about.  Most towns also had the locally owned “malt shop” where kids would meet after school or on a Saturday night.

One place I remember from my youth is the local barber shop.  In our Cincinnati neighborhood it was “Joe the Barber.”  Joe would cut my hair as he thought my mother would like it rather than how I thought it should be.  I will never forget the smell of the Fitch Hair Tonic he would use to plaster down my pre-teen hair.  In retrospect, I guess it was worth the $1 he charged.

Joe never took appointments.  Customers would walk in, sit down, and wait their turn while listening to Joe’s scratchy radio broadcasting Arthur Godfrey or Paul Harvey.  Customers would chat or read magazines while they waited their turn.

Today in Scottsdale, a lot of the old barbershops like Joe’s are gone as their owners either died off or didn’t do enough business to warrant unlocking the door in the morning.  Many have been replaced by chain or franchise styling salons or updated versions of barbershops that are also chains or franchises.

In May, 2010, I decided to check and see if any of the old shops were left.  As I crossed Scottsdale Road going west on Indian School Road, I noticed a barber pole in front of a narrow shop in a small strip center.  I parked and approached the Scottsdale Barber Shop.  I couldn’t think of a name more appropriate than that and as I entered, I wasn’t disappointed.

A lady named Roza owned the place with members of her family, including her husband Raffail, and her son and daughter.  It was the nirvana of old time barber shops as Roza told me that the chairs were 70 years old and the barber pole in front was 90 years old.

The shop has been in business since 1957.  They offer all the amenities  of the old days including a straight razor shave, hot towels, neck and shoulder massage, and, of course, a haircut.  Arthur Godfrey and Paul Harvey are gone but have been replaced by a couple of televisions.

One customer told me he lived at 154th Avenue and Van Buren Street but it was worth the price to visit Roza’s place and get his “ears lowered.”

After a nice visit, I felt the euphoria of feeling like I was 10 again and walking out of Joe’s.  I’m going to Roza’s for my next haircut as long as she promises not to use any Fitch’s Hair Tonic.

Fast  forward to the present.  Roza and her family are still doing business at the same location giving the same quality and service as seven years ago when I wrote the above.  It’s proof that the public knows a good thing when they see it and will return.

44 comments:

Jim McAllister said...

PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS BELOW. THANKS!

midnightsstaff said...

Well Comodo quit treating your blog as a haz mat site, I never figured that out but the siege seeming has ended so I guess you fixed it.

I have had pretty sorry luck with barbershops here in Az, the last good one I frequented was called the European cut or something like that, it was ran by a couple of actual Poles, a dad and son outfit from Chicago- lots of Bears and fight card memorabilia .. the guy cutting my hair didn't speak English but he seemed to communicate good enough for a haircut.

..When I was young my dad took me to an old~tyme soda bar in Franklin Indiana on a visit to his home town where he grew up in, it was right out of Norman Rockwell along with the rest of Franklin- those were the last idyllic days for the Midwest, things have changed everywhere now- we simply can't go back, the bridge is gone.
I ordered the exotic cherry phosphate as I remember.

People are rejecting mass consumption today it looks like, for the life of me I can't understand anyone putting anything other than the coffee at McDonalds in their mouth, I feel that feeding kids that stuff ought to be treated as child endangerment, but that's just me.

Good to remember the past, the trick is not to think it can return....
.."The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." ~Albert Einstein

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

I normally get my ears lowered (heard that term lately?) at the local Super Cuts in north Scottsdale. It's a crew of young babes working there but with my old man hairstyle, it's hard for them to screw up although they probably don't see too many young guys who part their hair. My hair has been parted so long it probably wouldn't be able to change now.

Jim McAllister said...


JACK H WHITAKER
7:09 AM (56 minutes ago)

to me
With a friendly less bulk discount to Jimmy B should he have been a customer…Jack

Jim McAllister said...

Jack,

Bless Jimmy B wherever he is. I always wondered if barbers charged him for a full haircut since he was so follicle deprived.

Jim McAllister said...


Mac….I think he is on the eternal search for “Mr. Key"

Jim McAllister said...

Jack,

Finding Mr. Key is a very difficult task. Bless his memory; I only wish he could find it. He left us waaaaay too soon.

Incidently, I see that Dave is in some more legal difficulty. He better be careful; he is not of an age or mentality that adapts easily to jail life.

Jim McAllister said...

Running?- haha.. I am lucky to walk anymore, no thanks the stairs give my knees enough already.

I used to work outside in this weather, Las Vegas, Edwards AF base, any desert in Cal is as or hotter than here, I spent one summer in the late eighties doing ten hour days starting at four and working four ten hour shifts pouring concrete in a large drain canal like the aqueduct but three times the size, we poured on the slope and finished until around eight and then spent the rest of the shift laying and tying rebar for the next day's pour..
the money was good but only for a young man.

I couldn't do anything like that today, seriously.

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

No question; the heat is a bitch when it gets this high. I'm holding my weight at 220 for a few years so I'm good so far. I was up to 265 a few years ago so i got back into running a bit more. It works well for me along with a couple hundred sit ups. However, in this heat, I take a few days off. No sense dying face down on the sidewalk if not necessary.

midnightsstaff said...

I got charged .25 c for my boot camp trim in 68- that was good money then, especially when the barber was doing about 78 of us in five min. - I'm surprised he didn't just have us line up and stand on a chair with one barber on each side like an assembly line or Montana sheep sheering party.

..he had to be knocking it down, that's 20.00 in his pocket and not breaking a sweat.
I have to get a tune up soon, problem is the hair cutter gals are all tatted up and have rings and stuff where they don't belong these days; when women started looking like sailors a few years ago I wanted to get off- I just try to ignore the ink at the shop now.
Everyone wants to get that 'individual look' -and in doing so look like everyone else- it's my hang up.

But I doubt June Cleaver or Ozzie's wife ever thought about getting one.

Jim McAllister said...

I lucked out on the basic training haircut. I was 20 at the time in September, 1961 when I arrived in San Antonio. At that time, "flat tops" were popular and I had a nice short one. When they sent everyone to get their heads shaved they let me go. Whew! That was a close one. Those guys looked like residents of Dachau with their heads shaved.

Jim McAllister said...

I miss the old barber shops too. You could usually find a dog eared copy of Field and Stream to hold you till it was your turn. There are three barber shops in Chandler that I know of: Floyds on Riggs not to far from me, the Country Clipper in downtown Chandler and one more formerly operated by a city councilman on N Arizona Ave.. With no hair now, I’m not a customer any more.

I never did like the unisex shops like Great Clips. Women do not belong in a barber shop

Jim Johnson

Jim McAllister said...

Jim,

It sounds like you used to get haircuts from the places I went. There was always some good male conversation there that one would never hear at Great Clips or places like it and I've always loved dog eared copies of "Field and Stream"!

The barbering business has really changed. I'm glad places like the Scottsdale barbewr Shop have hung on and are doing well.

Jim McAllister said...

Jim,

It sounds like you used to get haircuts from the places I went. There was always some good male conversation there that one would never hear at Great Clips or places like it and I've always loved dog eared copies of "Field and Stream"!

The barbering business has really changed. I'm glad places like the Scottsdale Barber Shop have hung on and are doing well.

Arizona Dave said...

Outstanding article - Memories of yesterday...I am lucky...I have been going to the same barber for almost 40 years....the only one in Memphis I know that still does a razor cut....Price has gone up but who cares...always look your best, and a haircut is the key.

Got a nice Father's Day surprise last Saturday...a Hole-In-One on Number 4 at TPC Southwind where the PGA just played a week earlier....Exciting, makes it my 4th Hole-In-One, starting way back in 1970 when haircuts were $ 2.50 for me.

Keep up the good work Jimmy Mac...tell Barb hi.

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Dave.

Barber shops have certainly changed. A lot of the old timers are gone; replaced by youngsters right out of school working for chain stores. I almost forgot about razor cuts; haven't heard that term in many years.

Wow! Very impressive about the hole in one especially since it is #4. I'd love to get one!

Hot as hell here; been over 110 for a week now but that is typical June in Scottsdale. We'll get even during the winter.

Take care.

Mike Slater said...

Hi Jim,

I go to one of those old time barber shops at 107 Ave and Union Hills that's been there since the early 80's. It's so old it still has a cooler on the roof. When the snowbirds are here it gets crowded and you have to take a number but now that's it's summer you can get right in. A haircut is only $10 with my senior discount.

This weather is giving me flashbacks to when I worked outside. I used to dread this time of year, especially because we had no A/C in our trucks.

We went to Pinetop for three days and it was even hot up there.

Jim McAllister said...

Mike,

Maybe it's because I'm another year older but the heat this year seems to be getting to me more than ever. Hopefully I will adapt as it gets hotter.

The old barber shops are the best. The one in Scottsdale has been there since the 50s and they still give the same kind of service as in the past.

I wrote that column for the Scottsdale Republic in May, 2010.

Mike Slater said...

Jim,

I worked outside for 34 years and you never get used to it you just tolerate it. Now that I'm 65 I rarely go outside unless it's to go to the store for more beer. I pretty much hibernate in the house in the summer.

One good thing summer is all the snowbirds are gone.

Jim McAllister said...

I agree on the snowbirds. I'll take the heat of summer anytime over them clogging up our streets and stores in the winter. It's nothing personal; I just rather avoid them.

midnightsstaff said...

I give the snowbirds a break, think about spending Jan in Cincinnati or Cleveland guys.. or any time for that matter.

Last time you put in any January time east of the Miss you didn't have arthritis or complications that comes with age like any of us do.
My buddy Bob who went to work for the telephone company in the late sixties died a couple of years ago from the complications of knee surgeries.
Climbing poles in any weather is tough work, Mike probably knows a bit about that- last time I saw Bob he looked like he had polio or something with the braces, pretty sad..

Heat is about like it was when I was working outside construction but the sun has a different color now that the magnetosphere is weakening.
Cal has just as hot weather at those desert military bases as here, but handling that heat was much easier if you take a few decades off the body, I look back and it's like a dream that any of us could have worked outside in this kind of weather, but no one in my position had an option, it was work or don't eat.

Yeah I give them the benefit of doubt as well as a lot of distance behind a set of Minn license plates- besides they blow out of here after spring training and leave a lot of money behind.
..'Chili today and hot tamale'.. come on monsoon..

Jim McAllister said...

I'm with ya on those Cincy winters. It could be 60 one day and 10 the next with ever present humidity. I've never missed it. I'll take our 100+ days anytime.

Mike Slater said...

Middy,

I went to work for the phone company in 71 and hooked a few poles over the years. It wasn't a daily thing though. Once we got ladder trucks we didn't climb much unless we had to go to New River, Black Canyon City or Cave Creek.

Luckily I never had to have any knee surgeries but at age 65 I do have a little trouble getting up from the couch at times.

Working outside in this weather is not for wimps.

midnightsstaff said...

I couldn't physically do what I used to consider normal work anymore, I figure most people our age who have done physical labor in the sun every day ought to have some stiffness and pain, and not just in the morning.
Working a summer or two of construction when you are in your early twenties is not the same as having to get up in the dark and make it every day to a job site by six am at forty and ready to pour concrete or steel work in the California deserts for a ten hour shift.
But lots of guys I worked with did, and I imagine they are all about stove up by now.

..as Solomon said, "there is nothing new under the sun"- except those people just figuring out something for the first time I guess.

"Feenix gets hot in June" the weather girl tells us, well there's a shocker eh?
- someone ought to tell her about Solomon..

I have to get a haircut before it gets too hot.. hope the girls are not hung over..

Mike Slater said...

I can't do a lot of physical work any more either but I have a 36 year old son that can. I have him come over from time to time and lend a hand. He's a cop in the Valley and knows about working outside in his nice black uniform.

I started with the phone company at 20 and by the time I was 50 I had enough and retired.

midnightsstaff said...

Some things are best done by the young.
Those vests under a heavy long sleeve jumpsuit I wore with all the gear gets pretty hot too, street cops deal with it too.. there is a big difference being a cop in the sixties and now here in the American war zone.

I worked the yard at Ironwood one day a sixteen hour shift when I was an apprentice, and it got to 117 and rain that day, it was one of those days in mid September- luckily it was too hot for them to act up.
..working the yard is bad enough without that kind of conditions, it ended up in a monsoon downpour on top of things.. I must have had rocks in my head to take the second one, those shifts went six in the am to ten at night.

A little chore and light gardening work early in the morning or at sunset is about all I am up to lately.
I think back and it seems like I am delusional and fantasizing when I think of those days...

I never got the haircut, maybe try again tomorrow, maybe not.

Rick Kepple said...

My driver took me around to pay bills yesterday, but I neglected myself as usual. No haircut. There are more important things than grooming.

Worked on this short film again today. It's Jen's project. It's of a yard care company and the owner was training a tree climber today. So there's a camera in the tree with the climbers. Very cool.

I made a video a while back and got clearance to use SN' name in the script. I played three parts in it. I caught hell from my side for using her name, even though I had clearance from her side. I don't get paid by anyone for doing the films. It gives free advertising to the music artists and I'm never getting rich from this work. It's something to do to pass the time while I'm disabled.

I got sick again, lost 30 pounds, got off the CPAP breathing machine and I thought I was getting healthier and then the new problem. I am not going traditional medicine. I have films to make.

Good blog, Jimmy. My barberess gives neck massages when she's done cuttin' the hair. It gives her something to do to waste the rest of the time after cutting that one hair. I get my hair cut for the nostalgia.

Rick Kepple said...

Uh oh. I mussed up the conversation. Is this a bad time?

Trump's doing good, isn't he? Gosh those Republicans sure are gentlemen. I learn so much from rich folks in civilized behavior.

Happy Independence Day! Be safe.

No haircut yet. It's only the one hair though. The only one that grows.

Rick Kepple said...

Okay, this blog needs some help.

We're at Jimmy's barber shop. Middy's had his hair cut for an hour, but he just likes the conversation. There's that chick who cuts hair, and occasionally splits a fly with a strait razor at 10 paces. It's a rectangular shaped shop. Bar and coffee at the end ... my fantasy, my rules.

Jimmy, told ya that North Korea was gonna start WW III. Predicted it in the 80's. The DoD spent real money asking people for their dreams just a couple of years ago to determine if a majority of nightmares involved North Korea. Don't know how it turned out. Whatcha think, Jimmy? A little off the top, if you don't mind. Yeah, that's the one hair. Five dollar tip, Jimmy.

Jim McAllister said...

It looks a bit scary with that Kim Jong running the show in N. Korea. There is a map on the internet today showing how close he could get to us and many European countries with his missile. I don't think we have heard the last of him.

It never ends anymore with these nuts.

Rick Kepple said...

AC is out in the barn, Jimmy. Had to open the hay loft door to cycle the air. It's cooler outside than inside.

North Korea and China need to surrender. Trump's unpredictable. Wild card.

Internet is slower than molasses in a snowbird's winter home! Thinking of cutting the studio, since medical costs are going to increase and can't upload any videos anyway. Save a few bucks. Get a hair cut. Buy an AC unit in August.

Some things are best done by the young, Middy. Gardening is nice, but it's too much work to use hand tools. I've got three short rows of green beans and that wears me out. It's enough to watch Jen girlify the farm. It's nice.

Jim McAllister said...

I wish they would surrender! LOL Did you see that Reddit guy smack that jerk CNN twerp in the mouth? Hit him twice right in the chops. Funny!

Rick Kepple said...

Jen just told me that she wants me keeping the studio, because she wants me having something enjoyable to do. You'd like Jen, Jimmy. She's nice.

Jimmy, are you talking about the Trump character made by Reddit beating up a CNN character? There's also one of a guy decking Trump in a ring. I don't know how people can do that stuff. It's kind of a threat, really. Trump reposted it, so it means he agrees with assault and battery of journalists.

In a dictatorship, you get rid of the journalists first, then you can do anything and no one will ever know. So if you're cheering the death of Freedom of the Press, the next thing will be the confiscation of legally owned firearms. Who's gonna tell you that it's going on without a free press? Facebook? Twitter?

Mike Slater said...

Jim,

The little fat boy in Korea needs to be taught a lesson before he can get to us, although I wouldn't mind if he took out California. If Truman hadn't fired MacArthur we wouldn't be having this problem.

Most of the press in this country are liberals that hate Trump with a passion so I don't mind him going after them. They're still pissed that Hillary lost.

Jim McAllister said...

Mike,

It looked like Putin and Trump were getting along pretty good; I hope so.

Yeah, that fat boy in N. Korea could be a problem; they are really an outlaw state. Somebody better nip it in the bud before the lard ass does something stupid.

Rick Kepple said...

Talked with a national PAC president this morning and they're considering me to help them lobby in state and federal government. They like my Facebook posts, but I didn't do too well in the phone interview. I sound stroked out. Admitted that I'm a behind the scenes kind of guy.

Trump's boy, Junior, took it upon himself to meet with a propaganda lawyer from the Kremlin in 2016 and now admitting to the media. This is the first real evidence of anyone in the campaign colluding with Russians in the election. The story adds that Senior did not know about the meeting that his boy had.

Trump didn't beat Clinton. Sanders would have won, had the Democrats chose him, but they alienated 62 percent of the voters who were sick of the choice between two evils. So only 38 percent of voters cast ballots. That's why the Electoral votes didn't match the popular votes. Phil Donahue put that together.

Mike Slater said...

Rick,

Trump beat Clinton were it matters, in the Electoral College 304 to 277. It's not unusual for the Electoral votes don't match the popular votes. In fact there has been five times in our history where the winner of the popular vote didn't get elected. Only Electoral votes matter.

Jim McAllister said...

Mike,

Very true about the electoral college. The dumbass Dems like to bitch because Hillary won the popular vote but lost the election. Unfortunately for them, it's the electoral votes that count so they have no argument. Try to tell them that though as they are to dumb to "get it."

I'm sure glad Trump won. Can you imagine having to look at her for four years? Yikes!

Mike Slater said...

Jim,

The Dems said the same thing after the 2000 election when Gore got the popular vote and lost. After that election and now this one they want to get rid of the Electoral College because it's not fair. Sounds like sore losers to me.

I'm glad Trump won too. We have a new conservative on the U.S. Supreme Court and illegal aliens are being deported.

Jim McAllister said...

I agree; I'm sure glad Trump won. Can you imagine looking at HRC for 4 years? What a total loser she is and she almost made it. It shows how this country has slipped. Look at California today with worthless Brown as governor. It's a sanctuary state. I used to love going there; I wouldn't take a free trip there now.

Rick Kepple said...

Mike, I know how the electoral process sort of works and that it is the only way a President is elected, and not by the popular vote. It is highly unusual for the votes not to match up, but there are compelling reasons.

I have a letter from Obama on my Studio wall and he says that he doesn't believe in prophecy (a Christian gift of the Spirit), because I told him what would happen and that he needed to legalize marijuana if he wanted Clinton to win. Of course he ignored me and the Democrats paid for it too.

Fact is, it's Trump's job to turn everything upside down and fix the world. That's why he was chosen.

Rick Kepple said...

Toby Keith and special guest, Willie Nelson, Wacky Tobaccy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kGEhX_s2_g&list=RD2kGEhX_s2_g

Dell Mack and I met with Eapen Thampy yesterday, who founded Show-Me Cannabis and has turned lobbyist and runs Heartland Priorities. Eapen likes my writing and that I'm the publicist for the "American Icon" Dell Mack, which is a pretty nice honor to be said of him. You can see Eapen at 1:20 in this news video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiGRMD4NXVA

I'm gonna keep giving SN and Jimmy credit for the studio and my work. SN should be positive about it. Say something nice. I get that controversy isn't her thing though. It's what I do best. And I'll be editing a very short message with Eapen, Josh and Dell Mack for national marijuana legalization and asset forfeiture reform.

Mike Slater said...

Jim,

I'm with you on California. Haven't been there in years and will never go back. It's a liberal shit hole full of illegals. When we travel we only go to red states where they recognize my concealed carry permit because I don't go anywhere without my guns.

Jim McAllister said...

Mike, I totally agree.

Barb and I used to go to Del Mar by San Diego frequently for the horse races but we stopped it years ago because I can't stand all the liberal crap out there. I will not pay taxes to a jerk like Jerry Brown or any other liberal A-hole they elect.

It's a shame because it's a nice place to visit with the climate and the ocean, etc. but it's not worth it because of the politics.