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Vintage Things That Will NOT Disappear In Your Lifetime

tonyb

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9,658
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^
I started going bald in my late teens. By my mid-20s I was shiny on top. What remains of the hair on my scalp is thin. Whenever my hair gets to a length that I might consider using a comb, I just cut it all off with my Wahl home barbering clippers. I don’t shave it, though. I know guys who do. The daily maintenance is more than I wish to add to my plate.

However, if I don’t shave my face daily I get to looking scruffy, which is okay if I have nowhere to be but here at home, which is now kinda the default. But two days’ beard growth is a greater struggle to tame, so for that reason I usually find the minute or so it takes to drag a razor across my face.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,658
Location
My mother's basement
I have a very light beard anyways and since the pandemic/stay home regimen I have lapsed into a weekly shave rather than daily. I use the Kirkland brand multiblade (3 or 5, can't recall) cartridges and now I use about one cartridge per 3-4 months or maybe more....I lose track until it dawns on me that I am getting a shitty shave so I switch out to a new one.

At that rate, even the high-priced razors take a negligible bite out of the budget.
 
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Messages
11,193
Location
Southern California
The hair atop my head, what’s left of it, is mostly a dingy gray color, as are my whiskers. I’ve been bearded, but I doubt I ever will be again. My beard is thick, downright luxuriant, but where once there were red and brown whiskers there is now hair the color of wood ashes. And I’m constitutionally averse to dying it...
Now that I'm officially 60 years old the hair on my head is still mostly dark, but as I mentioned upthread my beard is more white/gray than dark. I've dyed it (my beard, that is) a few times over the years for Halloween, and each time I was finished my thought was that I couldn't imagine doing that once or twice a week every week for the duration of whichever beard I was wearing. I don't particularly care anyway because I've long suffered from "baby face" and I'm still kinda' looking forward to one day looking my age.
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,407
Location
The Barbary Coast
It finally happened. My hair clippers broke. Not by defect. I dropped them. A few teeth broke off the blade. The blade slide is bent. The nose which the blade assembly mounts onto is chipped, but still works, since it's just a piece of plastic which doesn't move. This should be an easy fix.

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I live in San Francisco, California. Not the middle of nowhere. This is one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world. There is only 1 appliance repair center. This guy, 1 guy, does it all. Shavers, vacuums, microwaves, blenders, toasters, sex toys...... He is the warranty center for dozens of retail brands.

The way it works, is that when someone brings in an item, he determines if it is still under warranty & if it can be fixed, If under warranty, he calls the manufacturer, and they send him the parts and a check for his labor.

In my case, the appliance was made in 1974. No warranty. Sorry. In 1974, they did not have an expansive product line. So the retail homeowner product line shared the same parts as the commercial products for professional use. Today, they sell a home haircut product at places like Wal*Mart & Target, and it's much lower in cost. Made with less expensive parts. My internal components, the electromagnetic motor coil, the switch, the vibrating shunt arm, springs, etc....... are all commercial grade products from 50 years ago. But parts are available. Good news, right?

The cost for the repair parts, plus shipping, from the manufacturer would cost more than buying a brand new appliance. I could literally buy 2 new ones, for the price of fixing the old one. The only problem is that I would be buying a new item which is junk, compared to what I already have. According to the appliance repair guy, if I invest into buying the parts, he would sell them to me without a markup. And since I know how to do the repairs myself, I could just take it home and fix it. Allegedly, according to the factory, they have never had to repair or replace the internal motors because of factory defect. If I didn't drop them in a tub full of water, my 50 year old clippers could last another 100 years.

I have no idea what these cost back in 1974. The same model, still in production, is only being sold in South Africa, to animal groomers, at around $100 USD. The commercial quality clippers sold to barbers who cut human hair, retail from $75 - $100. Wal*Mart sells a home haircut kit, with all the accessories, for $21. A small bottle of service oil, also sells for about $21.

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Here's a tip. Don't ever buy $21 bottles of "clipper oil". It's just mineral oil. Baby oil, is mineral oil. A few drops of baby oil will keep your blades sharp forever - or until you drop them after owning them for 50 years.
 
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Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,407
Location
The Barbary Coast
For Context:

In the days of my youth, I picked up extra money working on movie and television film sets. Whenever the production companies got the permits to close off streets, a perimeter would be set with barricades. I would be the guy sitting on a motorcycle in front of the barricade. It was quite the organized activity. The guy who paid us, even supplied the motorcycles with flashing strobe lights. He would bring a truck full of motorcycles.

There was a Production Assistant assigned to us, the motorcycle perimeter detail. PAs on those sets actually ran the show. Different PAs would be in charge of the lighting crew, the camera crew, the stunt team - and they coordinated everyone's activities to keep the project running smoothly. Our PA was a retired Highway Patrol officer. He rode around the set on a motorcycle, had all the street closure permits with him, made all the plans for traffic control and rerouting to be compliant with The City, relieved us at our post when we needed bathroom breaks - and this guy even brought us food and coffee from the catering tent. He made sure that we also got to eat the fancy food.

The Story:

One of the matinee idols was dissatisfied with the on set hair and makeup team. Apparently, nobody on location was good enough to cut his hair. His personal barber was in Beverly Hills, and the production team balked at flying the guy to NorCal for a haircut. In the days before smart phones, calls were made in a frenzy - and a Production Assistant vetted some fancy hair salon on Maiden Lane.

Keep in mind, for further context, that this is SFO. The same city where Bill Clinton decided to get a haircut from some fancy barber - on Air Force One - forcing incoming planes to circle and run low on fuel, and outgoing traffic to sit idle with passengers buckled in for hours. Also where Nancy Pelosi decided that even though nobody else could get a haircut during Covid lockdown, she was entitled to a salon hair styling. Chris Yeo, the celebrity chef and restaurant empire entrepreneur, started his life in America here as a haircutter. I shave my own head.

I'm sitting on my bike at a barricaded street closure, and enjoying this wonderful poached Pacific salmon with capers and topped with shaved almonds, and a dungeness crab louie served in the crab shell with the crab butter. I also had a plate with Cowgirl Creamery curds from Marin and Napa grapes. Dessert. A liter of Calistoga water to cleanse the palate. These movie people ate well.

My Production Assistant, the movie star, and his personal assistant come walking over. Mr. Oscar for Best Supporting Actor hands me a piece of paper with a handwritten address. "You're from around here. You know where this is?" Yeah. Maiden Lane. Off Union Square. Right outside of Chinatown. "Can you take me?" The Production Assistant pulls out a wad of bills, counts off $100, hands it to me, and sort of raises his chin in my direction. The Master Thespian climbs onto the back of the bike. The PA uses the radio and calls over 2 more motorcycle units.

Keep in mind that we were using dirt bikes. Not Harleys or BMWs. Those banana seats really aren't comfortable for any 2-Up passenger. They aren't even comfortable for the rider.

Instead of riding behind my bike in formation, the other 2 guys pull ahead. They actually ran traffic breaks at intersections. It was like a private funeral procession for 1 guy. When we got to Maiden Lane, they blocked off the street from both ends. As if we were operating a dignitary protection run.

For no reason, other than that i didn't know what I was doing - instead of staying outside and sitting on the bike, I walked into the hair salon with the movie star. The barber greeted us, and then locked the door behind us. The entire salon was emptied out for privacy. There were little sandwiches on a multilayer tray, and a samovar. Not having any social graces, I grab a handful of the high tea sandwiches, and sit down in a barber chair - dropping food crumbs everywhere as I ate.

This was during a point in time, when a certain hairstyle was very popular. The barber pulls out this one of a kind, special purpose tool. It was like a giant afro pick, with a carpenter's level built into it. I had never seen anything like before. And I've never seen anything like it since. That's why these hair stylist get paid the big bucks.

The vintage flat top will not disappear in my lifetime.

I don't know about that comb though. As I look around in real life, I don't see any barbers using them. Those must be now an extinct special purpose tool.


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Messages
10,495
Location
Germany
@Fifty150

That's a funny thing!

I always used the usual Philishave haircutters, since 19 years. I still got my SECOND! This one was from the first generation of much more powerful motors. It's now damaged, but still does the job.

But as far as I can say from Germany, these great devices are much too cheap, while beeing seemingly super longlasting! Today, these cost only around 30 EUR!!
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,407
Location
The Barbary Coast
Wahl is one of the last companies to manufacture in The United States, and produce a good product. The parts are now made overseas - for the obvious reason. Even if they wanted to source the parts in The USA, they can't. Nobody is making any of that stuff here.

As far as I know, the company is still focused on producing a quality product, and most of their business is commercial grade. Barbers, animal groomers, and ranchers. So they have to make a product which is durable.

And apparently, the model I have from 1974, is still in production. Just not sold in The USA. It's on the Wahl EU website. In other parts of the world, it's marketed as a basic barber's machine. Something that most people get in barber school. Or something that a barber will use professionally in countries where there is less wealth. Millions of people in poor countries get their hair cut, every day, and without the use of more expensive machines. My hair clippers are also sold as a veterinary tool. In case you need to shave a dog's scrotum before you neuter him.

You're right about pricing. Wahl is very inexpensive. Even the higher price models are not expensive. If a barber is charging $25 for a haircut; then $75 for a haircut machine is not expensive.

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GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,113
Location
New Forest
Now that I'm officially 60 years old the hair on my head is still mostly dark, but as I mentioned upthread my beard is more white/gray than dark. I've dyed it (my beard, that is) a few times over the years for Halloween, and each time I was finished my thought was that I couldn't imagine doing that once or twice a week every week for the duration of whichever beard I was wearing. I don't particularly care anyway because I've long suffered from "baby face" and I'm still kinda' looking forward to one day looking my age.
Now if you had the sense of vanity that I have your chin would no longer be hirsute. Back when I was in my early twenties, I was attending my doctor's for an insurance medical check up. All went well, but the doctor asked me if there was anything I would like to ask. (Some patients need coaxing.)

Nothing life threatening, I joked with the doctor, but is it possible to have the mole on my face removed? Doctor said that it was best left alone and why not grow a beard. So for about the next thirty five years my chin was suitable hirsute. Then it started to change colour, that's when I decided that the mole was more preferable than being a Santa look-a-like. Vain, or what?
 
Messages
11,193
Location
Southern California
The last time I was clean shaven was 1987. I had grown my beard for the first time while my wife and I were still dating, but shortly after we married I started another job that required I be clean shaven. She had liked the beard so she was disappointed, but understood. I grew it back when I could, and I've had some form of mustache and beard or goatee ever since. The only "condition" she put on it was that I keep it trimmed neatly because she doesn't like long beards.

I don't have any "moles" or other unusual growths on my face; aside from how my face turned out on it's own, that is. Well, not any more. Had some skin cancer carved off of my nose in 2013, but if any cells were malignant I'm convinced they removed them with the biopsy sample. I do have...well, I don't know if it's a mole, or a wart, or a third nipple, or what the hell it is, but it's on my chest. I had it looked at by a doctor, but he told me that unless it was somehow causing medical problems (bleeding, pain, dry/cracked skin, etc.) it was considered a "cosmetic" issue rather than a "medical" issue, and that I'd have to pay out of pocket, possibly as much as $8k if I wanted it removed. Not that big a deal.
 

Harp

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Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
^ Robert, a resemblance to Chuck Norris.

Opthalmic surgery last year knocked me off my saddle, and with Covid sparking,
all elective surgery cancelled, and, what not kitchen sink tossed in for good measure,
I let the beard grow....

Santa Claus stared back in the mirror; shades of Shakesperean whisper,
truth told spoken on tongues of iron sentimental swordplay inside my mind.
Before triumphal return to the rat race I took a razor to face, an hour to scrape
it Ft Polk, Louisiana clean-earlobe to collarbone; then a run out to a lady barber
for a 'high 'n tight' haircut. Clean shaven, neat, trim, immaculate. :)
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,113
Location
New Forest
^ Robert, a resemblance to Chuck Norris.
That's a remark that I have heard more than once. Poor Mr Norris.
I took a razor to face, an hour to scrape
it Ft Polk, Louisiana clean-earlobe to collarbone; then a run out to a lady barber
for a 'high 'n tight' haircut. Clean shaven, neat, trim, immaculate. :)
Corporate image, it gets in your blood, or as I say to the lady who always compliments my appearance when I buy a take-away: "One has standards!" "Of course dear," she replies whilst peering over the counter to look at my shoes. "I polished them before coming here," I reassured her. "Somehow, she answered, "I just know that's true." "Standards dear, standards," I repeated.

Using the word, dear, can come across as patronising, but as the lady started saying, "my dear, you look impeccable." dear has become our greeting.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
That's a remark that I have heard more than once. Poor Mr Norris.

Corporate image, it gets in your blood, or as I say to the lady who always compliments my appearance when I buy a take-away: "One has standards!" "Of course dear," she replies whilst peering over the counter to look at my shoes. "I polished them before coming here," I reassured her. "Somehow, she answered, "I just know that's true." "Standards dear, standards," I repeated.

Using the word, dear, can come across as patronising, but as the lady started saying, "my dear, you look impeccable." dear has become our greeting.

Now a retired Irish poet scoundrel who blessed or cursed corporate sartorial standard by avail
Sapphic-to-Shakespearean poetic verse to ladies wed and maiden indiscriminate, I attest the
blush of the rose is envied deep red wine and the blaze Sun. :);):D
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,113
Location
New Forest
Now a retired Irish poet scoundrel who blessed or cursed corporate sartorial standard by avail
Sapphic-to-Shakespearean poetic verse to ladies wed and maiden indiscriminate, I attest the
blush of the rose is envied deep red wine and the blaze Sun. :);):D
Your prose is such fun to read. Let me share a reminisce that the words in your post prompted. Especially, ladies, indiscriminate, blush, red wine and sun.

The Dorset town of Poole hosts a couple of vintage events during the summer months. It started off as a re-enactor event, Poole being one of the quays from which the D-Day assault craft were launched in 1944, but seeing the re-enactors, others started to come along in period civilian dress, from there it just grew. We love it, more so because we get priority parking by taking our classic MG along.

Back in the summer of 2019, I met our former neighbours out enjoying the spectacle. The weather was glorious, our former neighbours looked good in their period fashion but I don't think bare midriffs were a 1940's style, at least not for the ladies.

You know you shouldn't look, but I couldn't help noticing that the ladies skin, just under her bust, was much paler than the rest of her well tanned appearance. Being a psoriasis sufferer myself, I wondered if she suffered from eczema, the two are closely related. Sunshine is a great therapy for psoriasis and eczema.

I mentioned that when the lady asked where my hat was, adding that I had noticed she had an area of pale skin, and did she find the sunshine a help. This caused much laughter. She informed me that topless sun bathing with old boobies is not a good idea. My mouthful of red wine went everywhere.

There's a postscript to this tale, I found a suitable greeting card and sent it to her. I know that she kept it.
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