Tiny Tina is my barber located in Ludlow, Kentucky.
Is she Tiny? I suppose she’s not a giant. I’ll ask her where the handle came from one of these days.
I’ve been going to her ever since I moved back to Cincinnati from Columbus, 6 years ago. 6 years and I’ve not once cheated on Tina. No other barber has touched my follicles. Tina would find out. She would know.
Once or twice, I’ve tried to trim up my mustache myself… or tried to even out my beard… but she caught that too.
Tina has been with me through thick and thin (more appropos, thin and thinner) – as I’ve gone from goatee to somewhat of a beard, to now what we’re referring to as "mountain man."
Thing is, she’s always accepting and happy to accomodate my whims, and is genuinely interested in whatever I’m working on, or where I plan to travel. We have a great rapport and I’ll be honest, I look forward to sitting in that barber chair, if anything – just to spend time with good folk.
I know about her family, her troubles with being an independent business owner – things like the hell we must suffer trying to get health care coverage and whatnot, I know where she’d like to visit and I know why.
Today, we watched the birds outside of her front window some, in the middle of shaving the back of my neck. After we identified a few of them, she turned her attention back to making me look, um, less, scruffy.
I mentioned the photos she now had lining the walls were new (photos of folks in the barber chair posing with Tina). Yeh she said, they were new. I said that _I_ was sorely missing from the wall. Yeh, she said, and yelled back to her sister (who tends to the phone and other responsibilities), "Get the camera"
There’s moments like this, where life’s just happening, that I realize that this is the "community" thing I list in my head when thinking about my requriements for living somewhere. There’s a bunch of variables, but I think a couple are:
- people – good people – people who genuinely take an interest in your well-being
- consistency – some pattern in which we interact.
- time – good vibes take a while to ruminate. these things can’t happen overnight. We can push them along, but we can’t force them. Good folk happen when you least expect it.