MR NATTY DIARY ENTRY: I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Bob Stafford. Bob owns and operates five of his own businesses. These include construction and real estate but more fortunately for me he runs the famous Big Bob’s Big Dawgs. Very tasty, whopping, big hot dogs. He also keeps bees that make lovely honey. He bases himself out of Maine and NYC with his with Patience and their two dogs.
We chatted about looking after yourself. Bob told me that as he gets older it seems to take more care to look and feel good. He loves to shave every morning, although he has had a beard or moustache since he was 16. He also enjoys being almost bald. He enjoys doing the old beard upkeep himself for a few weeks until he finds the time to visit his barbershop in Boston. It’s Syrian Barbers and he has been going there for 25 years. They are the only people he will let touch his head and face. "A full traditional shave is the best" he tells me.
I met Bob in the summer. As we sat one evening, he took me down memory lane me with barbering tales of when he was a boy in Massachusetts. "Being the oldest of ten children, economy was important to my folks” he recalled, “Every Saturday night it was haircuts for me and my nine brothers and sisters too. My father would give us all haircuts while smoking his favourite Connecticut Valley cigar, drinking an Old Grand-Dad 100 proof Old Fashioned and watching the Jackie Gleason Show on TV. He would put about 6 cherries in the Old Fashioned and you might get one after your haircut. My father would cut a little, drink a little, puff away and laugh so hard at the Gleason show. Your haircut would take a while! When it was done he would supervise you polishing your shoes for church on Sunday”.
"Being the oldest, and his son, my father would take me to his barber in Springfield, Mass. There was a shoeshine man in that barber's. A haircut and the coolest shoeshine you have ever had. The shoeshine man, Mr. Johnson, would sing a tune and keep time with the snap of the shine cloth. Afterward he would put his special cream on your shoes and bring your shoes to a glass high shine. Wow!"
Bob also let me know his three songs that get him in the right mood to go out:
Moondance by Van Morrison
Live at Edinburgh Castle album
Texas Flood by Willie Nelson
Milk Cow Blues album.
Early in the morning by Cindy Lauper and BB King
Memphis Blues album