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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Woody’s Barbershop, in Dahlonega, GA, has been providing cuts and shaves since 1924, one-hundred years after this town became the site of the first major gold rush in the United States.  Alton Jarrard, the current owner, has been barbering for 46 years. He purchased the shop from Woody in the mid 60’s. As I chatted with Alton, he reminisced about the days when the barbershop was the place to gather to share the news of the day. He remembered one fellow who always came in when he had a joke to share. He recalled a young boy who was sent in by his father for a badly needed haircut but insisted he did not have the money to pay. Woody cut his hair free of charge. Shortly after the boy left, the barbers spotted the youngster existing a general store with a brand new fishing pole.

Today, the art of barbering appears to be dying. Alton has been looking to hire a younger barber so he can reduce his hours but he has not been successful in finding someone.  The younger generation of hair cutters are attracted to working in salons where the compensation is more lucrative. It would be a shame if barbershops disappeared. In most towns, the barbershop has been the central meeting place for the menfolk of the community and where young boys still undergo that right of passage…their first “manly” haircut.

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There was a sense of urgency on my part to photograph Jerome’s garden last Friday evening. Despite the fact that Jerome wanted me to wait until his vision of the garden had been realized, he reluctantly agreed because this would be my last night living around the corner. Our family was moving the next morning to our new house that we had been building for the last 8 months. Although we were moving only a couple miles away, my new walking and driving path would not take me by Jerome’s garden on a daily basis. I relayed to Jerome how much I enjoyed watching his garden evolve over the seasons. The  brief but daily encounters I had with his garden as I flitted  in and out of the neighborhood always provided me with a moment of tranquility. Jerome brought the country to the city.