Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's all about the hair, right?

Thirty-one years after my first haircut with Stephanie, we're still a great team. Every time I'm back in Regina, I try to get in to see her at the Canadiana. It's downtown, next door to the Novia Cafe, which is the building beside the original McCallum Hill building, Regina's first skyscraper. And whose demise in spectacular fashion I captured on film from the roof of the Hotel Saskatchewan. But I digress...

Being here in Regina always does that to me. The hometown is a place full of memories - most of them good. The streets, the sidewalks, the buildings - they've all got stories. This one is about Stephanie. We first met in the late seventies. I was going to university and living in the Bartleman apartments on 14th Ave. As it turned out, Stephanie did too. But I only met her when I went for a haircut one day. She did a good job and from then on, I went back to her every time. She moved around a bit. She was with a different hair shop for awhile, then she moved to Weyburn to pursue a boyfriend that didn't work out. But she always ended up back at the Canadiana and I usually ended up back there too.

There's something about a relationship between a man and his barber. I'm not the only one that feels that way. I know my Dad used the same barber for most of his life and Heather's father did too. And now my son Cory is still going to Stephanie. She's been cutting his hair since he needed a booster seat.

Over the years, we've gotten to know about each others' lives and its always fun to find out what's happened with our families and our dogs. We're both older and settling down a bit. We talk about retirement and the years going by and how our Mothers are doing. Mine just turned 87 - her's is 86. She's always interested in my kids and she remembers far more than I would expect, given that I only see her at the most once a year.

But so much about my hometown is like that. I come back and its like I've never really been away. It's a treat to walk through the old neighbourhood and visit the stores I remember so well. The library is still open, the school hasn't closed (yet) and many of our neighbours are still around. Not all, of course. Changes happen. People leave. But fortunately, some things just keep on keeping on. Like Stephanie's haircuts. They're worth coming back for every year.

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