The silvery clip of scissors. The scent of talcum and tonic. The game blaring on the radio. The lazy rhythms of friendly conversation. In Do Bald Men Get Half-Price Haircuts? Vince Staten perfectly captures the atmosphere of the classic barbershop and the special place it holds in the hearts of American men.
Staten visited more than three hundred barbershops, in towns ranging from Chowchilla, California, to Mount Airy, North Carolina. Displaying a great ear for dialogue, he re-creates the banter in a family-run Italian shop in Louisville, the relaxed jokes shared at an African-American barber's in a quiet neighborhood in Nashville, and the familiar conversations about local politics, the new baseball coach, and the meaning of life that make it clear why the barbershop is the communications hub of so many communities. In a wonderfully entertaining exploration of the history, secrets, and social contributions of barbershop culture, he provides answers to such pressing questions as: What's in those hair tonics anyway? Why are the stripes on the barber pole red and white? Why not a barbershop trio?
As in his earlier fascinating tours through the hardware store and the phar-macy, Staten combines a highly original sense of humor with a keen eye for telling detail. With Do Bald Men Get Half-Price Haircuts? he treats readers to an unusual, warmly nostalgic, and often hilarious tour of an enduring corner of American popular culture.
Vince Staten is the author of nine previous books, including Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench? and Can You Trust a Tomato in January? He teaches feature writing at the University of Louisville and lives in Prospect, Kentucky.
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