Wondering about wild grapes

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wondering About Barber Poles

When I was young and living in Pennsylvania, a lot of the barber shops had rotating "barber poles" hanging outside of their shops.  You don't see them much anymore and in a lot of areas, jurisdictions prohibit moving signs.  So, how did these striped poles become the sign of a barber shop.

To answer my question, I had to do a little research.  The red and white pole was a representation of the bloody white rags that were wrapped around a pole out in front of bloodletting establishments.  Here is an example of a red and white barber pole:

The original pole had a brass wash basin at the top that represented the vessel in which the leeches were kept and the bottom represented the basin that collected the blood.

Of course, here in the U.S.A., we had to add blue stripes, also.  Gee, I wonder if it had any connection to our flags colors.

So, why did I post about barber poles today?  Well, my wife was complaining about my long hair and wondered when I was going to get it cut.  So, I decided to appease her and got out my big trusty scissors and. . . .

For some reason, I just couldn't do it.  Heck it has taken years to get my hair and beard to this point.  Anyway, it has seemed to have reached its longest limits, but maybe it is just resting for awhile and then will start growing again.  Up until I retired (actually I just quit working), I kept my hair cut and my beard trimmed.  Either way, I still look quite ugly, so why bother. . . Now, you all have a great day, you hear? 

Update:  A commenter who has known me almost all my life, mentioned about how neat a haircut I had when I was younger.  Here is a picture showing me in my favorite car and sprouting a short, neat hair cut:

24 comments:

  1. you should listen to your wife,

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    1. I usually do, but my hair and beard are the exceptions.

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  2. It appears you have baby fine hair. Have you ever braided yourself in the style of Willie Nelson? Or your beard ala David Allan Coe? Do it. Then your wife will be glad to see your hair long and flowing in the breeze.

    Joe had a mustache for about 5 years. Because HE liked it, I didn't say anything. Eventually he picked up on some invisible "vibes" and shaved it off. He looks so much better now - and I'm glad I didn't say anything before.

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    1. No, I will not braid it. I am the way I am and plan on staying that way until I die.

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  3. Good for you Diz! I can't say I'm crazy about long hair on men (Willie Nelson being the exception), but it's your hair and if you like it and don't mind brushing the tangles out of it, then that's your choice. Actually, I think you look quite good with long hair!

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    1. Thanks Gypsy. I do like it and will try to keep it until I go bald (grin).

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  4. I got a comment by email from good, life long friends of ours and I am going to post it here:

    Obviously, you haven’t wandered past a barber pole in a long time. :-) You should have included the photo of you sitting in your ’57 Chevy convertible so everyone could see the face your mother loved so much. If I remember correctly, you had to re-introduce yourself to your Knoch classmates when we went to the reunion.

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  5. Bill and I have been together over 30 years... I've never seen him without a beard. It used to be really long... down to his chest.... but now it's trimmed... might have gotten in the way while working on equipment, I don't know. I'm kinda partial to beards and mustaches... but if anyone came at me with those scissors you're holding I'd run like crazy! I agree with Gypsy... a person should wear what they want whether it be hair, clothes... or a beard ;-)

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    1. I never judge people by the way they look or by their clothes. It takes awhile to know someone well enough to form any kind of honest opinion.

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  6. I have heard that barber pole story-it is interesting:) I only tried t grow a beard once on a winter North Atlantic Iceberg patrol. It was just to itchy for me:(

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    1. I have had a beard for so long I can't remember if it was itchy or not when I started it. I was a salaried worker at a big plant when there was a very long strike. We didn't have much to do so that is when I grew a beard.

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  7. I cut my hair & shaved before I went in the Coast Guard, after boot camp I grew facial hair. For a couple of years in CG aviation I could not have a beard, it wouldn't seal an oxygen mask, when I went to the helicopters I grew it back.
    Father's day 1986 I shaved my red beard off, the CG had a new Commandant who did not like beards.
    I retired from the CG in June 1997 & grew my hair & beard back (it came back white), I trimmed the beard the day it got caught in my jacket's zipper! Long hair was harder, I was used to getting it cut every month for many many years. When I found out I had a silver dollar sized bald spot in back I knew it was time to see if I could get enough for a pony tail... while I still had hair.
    Then I let everything grow, when I daughter was graduating from high school she asked me to shave & get a hair cut.
    I went down to the barber shop in Bemidji Minnesota (it had a barbers pole) and the barber looked at me and jokingly said "you want a shave and a hair cut right", his jar dropped when I said "yep, leave the mustache" and pulled out my retired military to show him how I wanted it.
    A year later a guy told me he was still telling that story.
    That was years ago, today I shave or get a haircut whenever I feel like it or need to for a job... the mustache stays.

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    1. I didn't know the services allowed facial hair. I just learned something.

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  8. Better run for the hills if you hear the wife fire up the weed wacker. Your younger picture reminded me of my Wildroot hair cream days, or was it Brylcream, or Vitalis? I probably used them all. Just think what a slick back look you could get with your present day mane. Might have to buy the jumbo container,though. Keep up the good work!

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    1. "Brylcream, a little dab will do ya." I remember that jingle and yes, I used brylcream, too.

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  9. I had to cut my long hair off. Got a big glob of epoxy in it and had to cut it out. My hair was such a mess after that I decided to cut it all off. Not sure if I'll grow it out again or keep it short a while.

    I know a local barber who still has his rotating pole. Pretty proud of it.

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    1. He should be, there are not too many of them left. Do you get your hair cut their?

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    2. I just buzzzed it off last time. I should go see him. He'd be delighted.

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  10. DD PLEASE OH PLEASE DO NOT EXPOSE ANY MORE OF YOUR FACE. he he he

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    1. I will not. The world is not ready for that yet.

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  11. Wore my hair short, was MY HAIR. Never had to spend time with it, shampoo, comb, go. I almost went to barber school, then found out you had to work under a barber for 2 years. Here? NO WAY. But i have cut hair always. Still cut my own.

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    1. But you are not going to cut mine. . . (grin)

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  12. I still see the barber poles but nothing like what they were when I was growing up and yeah I knew about that blood letting business… we had that in something or other class in school… I didn’t like it

    HAHAAaaaa love the long hair scissor picture! and ain’t you handsome in your youth … can’t tell now with all your hair . I’m sure you’re still in there somewhere!

    I'm from the 60s so beards and long hair were quite normal ...

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  13. I was in public school during the 50's and my Mom insisted on my hair being cut every few weeks. She always wanted her family to be presentable.

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