Saturday Mornings at Hathaway’s

June12/ 2011

I don’t remember the first time nor the last time we went, but for Little BobLee, Saturday mornings at Hathaway’s with Dad were special.Clubman+After+Shave

The psycho-babble phrase “bonding” had not been invented yet.  It was simply my Dad and me getting haircuts.  Hathaway’s Barber Shop was on the corner of Queen & Caswell Streets down a flight of steps in a basement beneath Oettinger Brothers Furniture store.  ….  if I catch a whiff of Pinaud Clubmen or talcum, I still recall those “Saturday mornings at Hathaway’s”.

AND …. Mike’s Moochies head back to Omaha …..


It was the late 50s and it was a pretty big deal when I got to go with Dad to Hathaway’s Barber Shop.  Two guys doing guy stuff – No Women or Girls Allowed.

Ours was a tobacco town so Hathaway’s would have a mixture of farmers and merchants.  Doctors, lawyers, merchants, “Duponters”, and guys in overalls and jeans and plaid shirts.  There were four barbers – “Red” Hathaway was the proprietor, “Red’s” brother and two others.  “Red’s chair was down on the far end.   All four barbers were always wearing white barber smocks.  There was a mirror that ran the full-length of the wall behind the barbers and shelves of multi-colored bottles of various sizes and shapes.

None of the barbers were named “Floyd” but they were all “Floyds”.

Across from the barbers were 10-15 wooden chairs for customers.  There were lots of hooks to hang hats.  It was The 50s and men wore fedoras.  This was The 50s in the South.  There was one “colored man” – the shoeshine man.

You didn’t take a # or sign a waiting list.  You simply noticed who was ahead of you when you walked in so you knew when you were “next”.   There were never any disputes …. no shouting …. no harsh words.  Sometimes the man ahead of you would say “I’m waiting for Red” so you got to move up if another barber was open.  “Red” had his own clientele.

The #1 conversation topic was “the weather”.  I’m sure there was political chatter but back then it was “good-natured”.  Ahhhh, those were the good ol’ days.  I don’t recall any ribald jokes.  Our pro sports teams were the Redskins and the Senators – “First in War – First in Peace – and Last in the American League”.

If a new “something” had opened in town it would get a critique.  Some gossip about “a preacher who had to abruptly leave to39013272-09_argosy_1931_06_27_graefwn” or “that new waitress at the lunch counter at Standard Drug Store”.

I recall the magazines.  Nothing “X” rated but some “men’s magazines” that made me as, a young lad, uncomfortably curious.  They had names like Saga, True and Argosy.  The covers

… curvaceous women imperiled …

always featured curvaceous women with their clothes in tatters and imperiled either from Nazis or Japs or motorcycle gangs.   I just remember the covers.  It was unspokenly understood that I should not exercise my curiosity.

There were the hunting / fishing magazines – Sports Afield and Field & Stream.  I learned of a faraway place called Manitoba where huge “muskies” lurked.

There were a few comic books for us boys – Superman and Blackhawk.  This was a Men’s barbershop, not really catering to kids so no Weekly Reader or such as one might find at the dentists’.  Oh and definitely Farmers Almanac.

Copies of the local “Daily Free Press” were strewn about.  The Publisher and Editor were longtime locals.  They had opinions but this was back when newspapers could spell “integrity”.   We had a Dr Peele who was “a John Bircher” whatever that was.  He always had a Letter To The Editor but I don’t know anyone who ever read one of his letters.

Aficionados of F. Scott Fitzgerald may recall “The Eyes of Dr T.J. Eckelberg”.  At Hathways it was E.J. Paidar.  E.J. Paidar made barber chairs.  The name was in the wrought-iron footrest of each chair.  When you looked down so the barber could clean your neck, you saw E.J. Paidar’s name staring up at you.

Did I need “a little boy seat”?  That padded board that fit across the barber chair arms so a small boy’s head would be at the right level.  I truly don’t recall.  But I do recall that big brush with the talcum powder and the smell of Pinaud Clubmen.

Often after our haircut, Dad and I would walk a block down Queen Street to “the dime store” – McClellan’s – and I could get a small toy …. maybe a yo-yo or a peashooter. In our town everyone knew everyone and EVERYONE knew my Dad – he was the local surveyor and, they said, his name was on every map in the courthouse.

One day I didn’t go to Hathaway’s on Saturday any more.  I don’t know why or where I went instead.  One day a boy just knows it’s time to go get his haircuts without Dad.

Now I get my haircuts at “Handsome Floyd’s” (yes, named for you-know-who) where there are still magazines with racy covers.  Guys still talk about “the weather” …. and some new-fangled sport called “hockey”.  I think “Red” Hathaway would approve.


 Mike Fox’s “Moochies” are headed back to Omaha.  I started calling UNC’s baseball team “the Moochies” back in 2006 when they first went to Omaha.   I got that name from a series of Walt Disney shows in the late 50s starring Kevin Corcoran as “Moochie” – think “Good News Bears”.  Moochie and his pals played Little League and had various life lesson experiences on the ballfield.  The name seems to fit the type of kids Mike Fox recruits at UNC.

I REALLY like Mike Fox and his baseball program.   Mike Fox doesn’t hide behind Fat Cats because Mike doesn’t have anything to hide.  Mike Fox accepts full responsibility for his program.  WOW!  What a concept!

Coach Fox and his “Moochies” don’t embarrass the university; on the contrary they are excellent ambassadors of what UNC Athletics used to stand for …… in “the good ol’ days”.


Not a bad 12 months for Dallas – a World Series – host a Super Bowl – an NBA Championship.

The NBA season is over.  No more arenas where people pay $500/seat and are told they must wear a $10 white t-shirt.  If you don’t, what do they do to you?

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