Going to Town continued

When we were little tykes, Mom cut our hair with a hand-operated hair clipper. Later we went to Seneca and Mt. Sterling for haircuts. Tommy Johnson was the regular barber in Mt. Sterling, and he also cut hair two days a week in Seneca. Haircuts were 50 cents. Tommy was getting up into his eighties and about to retire.

Bernard Hanson cut hair in Rising Sun, a tiny barber shop next to Bill and Cecilia Crowley’s tavern. Dad got his hair cut first, then would go talk politics and farming with Bill Crowley and the locals. Phillip, Bob, and I got our haircuts in turn and then would go over to Crowley’s one by one. It was a swell arrangement. Hanson raised his prices from 50 cents a haircut to 75 cents a trim. Dad thought that was terrible: a 50 percent increase in his prices.

Once the shopping was done in Seneca, Dad went into Sullivan’s Bar and had a tap beer. He would normally leave us boys in the car to finish our ice cream cone. I think the longest we ever waited is 15 minutes. If it was longer, Dad would come out to the car and had us to come in and sit at one of the stools. They were fun because the tops spun around and you could sit there twist back and forth and twirl round and round. Dad bought us a soft drink in a glass. Sully opened one bottle of pop and poured it in three beer glasses and gave it to Phillip, Bob and me.

Sully’s had one of those Hamm’s beer light shades that shimmered. It had a canoe on a stream with the Hamm’s beer bear, “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters.” Sully also had an old black and white television set mounted close to the ceiling, up in the far corner.

Television was quite a novelty in those days. We didn’t have television on the Scheckel farm. Periodically, one of the Hamm’s beer commercials would run on TV. In one memorable 30-second commercial, a beaver gnawed a tree, just a log, no tree limbs, the tree fell over and the Hamm’s bear jumped aboard the log. The bear floated down the river on a log, with a big Hamm’s logo engraved in the side, and the bear did some fancy log rolling. A goose flew overhead and handed the bear a sign. The bear unfolded the sign and it read: “Hamms, the beer refreshing.” A female and male voice would then sing “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters” accompanied with beating drums.

 

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