From Joe Hollywood to Joe Military by jack from dfw (johnnyOrtega
Joe Ford was a handsome man. Standing over six feet tall, with an athletic build and his suit cut in the latest fashion, Joe Ford could pass for a movie star. Joe had always paid attention to his appearance since his early teens. In his younger days, girls often compared him to an Errol Flynn, Robert Taylor or Tyrone Power, although the dapper man fancied himself as a Midwest Cary Grant. “Hollywood” was his high school nickname that stuck through his WWII service in the Naval Air Corp and even into the courtroom where he served as the toughest prosecuting attorney. Complementing his dashing persona were the always present pipe, cigarette or cigar (like many men of his generation, he was a heavy smoker), a manicured mustache and a collection of fedora hats covering his well groomed, Brilliantined, dark brown hair.
Born in 1915, Joe’s hairstyle rarely changed since age 20. His hair was medium long swept back from his face, with a shape sided part, short wide sideburns, and bangs long enough to comb into a wave over his forehead. He religiously followed the 10 day haircut rule. So, his hair never got long enough to touch the tip of his ears, always neatly tapered low around the head with the lowest half inch of his nape clipped to fine stubble. During his military service, the haircut was much shorter on the sides, clipped to the skin with manual clippers. But by 1946, Joe was again sporting his debonair look.
Joe had an over-the-top, flamboyant courtroom style. This often got him cited for contempt of court. Although he had the most successful conviction rate than any other lawyer in the DA’s office, it wasn’t uncommon for him to spend a few hours to a few days in the county jail. In 1952 when Joe was 37, his roguish behavior again got him in trouble. After refusing to comply with a court order not to comment to the media during a high profile case, the judge sentenced Joe to 90 days. He was allowed to go without bail to tend to his affairs but had to turn himself in by 6 PM.
Joe’s first stop was home to explain to his wife the judge’s order. After they had a quick roll in the hay, he spent a few hours at Ty’s Bar for Old Fashioned cocktails. Ford, then, visited his mistress for another roll in the hay (Joe Ford wasn’t the most faithful husband.) Afterwards he had about an hour to stop by Doug’s Barbershop for a haircut and shave.
Doug’s was the oldest barbershop in town founded by Doug Sr. in 1892. Little was changed when Doug Jr. took over the shop in 1935. It was a rather Spartan two- chair shop. Although Doug Jr. replaced the turn-of-the-century chairs with black leather and porcelain Koken barber chairs, the only recent upgrade made to the shop was a television set.
Joe walked in slightly drunk with lighted cigarette in mouth, took off his hat and suit jacket. The barber was finishing a flat top on a high school student.
“Joe, my man, take a look at this while you wait,” Doug Jr. said, handing him a magazine. “It’s new.”
Whistling, Joe said, “That Monroe girl sure has a great set of T & A. Got to handle it to her.”
Joe put out his cigarette, loosened his tie, rolled up his sleeves that exposed an anchor tattoo and sat in the chair. The barber quickly caped Joe, placing a piece of tissue around his neck and a towel tucked into his shirt collar. The routine was always the same – a shave first followed by a haircut.
While the barber placed hot towels to soften Joe’s heavy 5 o’clock shadow, the conversation was not the usual sports talk, discussion of the Soviet threat, bragging about children or even confessions of Joe’s infidelities. Joe was upset that his three month jail stay was going to interrupt his frequent trips to the barbershop.
“I’m going to look like mad man.”
“Doesn’t the jail have a barber?” Doug asked.
“Only once a month by an officer. I like it trimmed every 10 days, besides they do a real hack job,” Joe answered.
“Well,it is jail. Tell you what my man. How about going short all over like the young ones wear these days? It will be more comfortable in that hot jail and I’ll give you a professional cut. By the time you get out, it will have grown out to what you have now.”
“Umm, I don’t know. I had it cut short when I joined the Navy. You gonna use hand clippers?”
“No, I don’t use them anymore, only these motor ones. It’s up to you. I could give you a crewcut, flat top, or butch.”
Joe ran his hands throw his thick matinee idol hair.
.He took a deep sigh and Joe said, “Just take it off and the mustache too.”
“You are going to look like an 18 year old again.”
First the barber was to give Joe a shave. Doug washed his hands and prepared the hot towels and honed and stropped his razor. He lathered Joe with an antique badger tail brush. Doug was an expert in hot shaves; he did 3 or 4 a day. It only took 14 strokes to complete the entire face shave.
Reverse free hand
Reverse free hand
Reverse free hand
And reverse free hand
And it was done, Joe was clean shaven.
The barber again washed his hands and combed Joe’s thick movie-star hair. He combed a large lock of hair and the front hairline, pilling it up through his fingers and cut about two or three inches. The hair feels over Joe’s face on to the cape to Joe’s lap.
Joe jumped suddenly as taken by surprised. “Take it easy up there, will ya.”
“You want it short and I’m giving a short one like the local football high school players, a crew cut. Don’t worry you are going to like this and it will work for you in jail. I promise.”
“Yeah, but I’m not going to the electric chair, you know. I want it short but not scalped.”
The barber continued the hair, using the shears over comb, clipping Joe’s hair about an inch from the scalp, but enough to still comb.
To end the haircut, Doug the barber, cut a high arch over Joe’s ear, exposing skin but blending nicely in the rest to the cut. Doug turned his attention to the nape. taping very close and he grabbed a pair of eclectic clippers and continued to taper the back and around the ears and up to just below the temples.
Doug finished the hair with a straight razor neck shave around the ears and back. He used butch wax to dress the hair and combed back, leaving hair standing at attention from the hairline to the crown leaving a classic crew cut.
He dusted Joe’s entire head removing all left over clippings. He turned the barber chair facing the mirror
Joe smiled from ear to ear, running his hand through the new do and feeling his clean face, no whiskers.
“I don’t recognize myself Joe said, “I’m giving you a tip." Thank much my dear sir.”
“I’m glad you like it, and hope it works for you in jail. It will keep you cool and grow out slowly. I think.”
Joe paid $8 for the haircut and shave. left the building lit up a pipe and went l to do his jail time.
While he was there. He got into an altercation with some with a man whose wife an affair with Joe and Joe was sent to the infirmary. To dress the wounds the doctors called a guard who seconded as a barber. Joe left the90 days later. His wife screamed when she saw her husband looking like marine recruit – hair clipped to the skin with manual hair clippers. But That’s another story.