Three-year-old Joyce Bjerk towers high above the ground below in her father Oscar’s barber shop in Karlstad, Minnesota. Pop’s sign above the swanky Maytag washing machine declares a haircut and a shave for a fair price of just two quarters. Joyce seems to be getting the standard kids’ cut of 1934. At least she knows it’s on the house.
2PM: New Harbor, Maine menfolk swap stories and play checkers on a winter afternoon at Lester Russell’s barbershop. The horn-rimmed glasses, calendar, radio, and cans of Barbasol all make for an authentic portrait. But what’s the young man wearing? Shin guards? Rubber waders? I don’t get it.
Speaking of barber shops, today is Howard McNear’s birthday. Born in 1905, he played barber Floyd Lawson on The Andy Griffith Show. After a stroke paralyzed the left side of his body, he left the series for over a year to recover. Andy encouraged him to return to his role, but he could not walk or stand. Audiences noticed his speech was slower, as well as his movements. If you click on any post-stroke youtube videos, it’s obvious. The show’s crew accommodated his disability, filming McNear seated or standing with support. Many scenes were shot with him sitting on a bench outside the barber shop, as opposed to actively trimming hair as before. In most of his post-stroke scenes, McNear’s left hand would hold a newspaper or rest in his lap, while he moved his right arm and hand as he spoke his lines.* Well, I’ll be.