Up on Craggy Pinnacle. Art by Helen Nagan.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Oyette Taylor Magic




I remember going to Oyette Taylor's, which was the expression I used -and I guess others did too - for going to get my hair cut at Taylor's Barber Shop.  When I was a child, my dad would take me there. Oyette would get out the horse booster seat (Is this where "Get off your high horse came from"?), and I would hop up on it.Oyette would ask Dad how I wanted it cut, and Dad would say, "He wants his granddaddy's haircut." My face would get beet red, and I would always say, "No."  When Oyette was nearly done, he would spin the chair so that you could get a view in the mirror, and then ask you how you liked it.  I never had complaints. Best part came later: When I got off the chair and stood on the floor, he would give me some bubblegum.  As I grew older, and as malls in Dothan, AL became my primary place to go for haircuts, I would still pop in from time-to-time and let Oyette work his magic. The Taylor Barber Shop was intriguing, and there were many jokes and tales that bounced off the walls and often went over my head.  It was a gathering place for the locals - men only.

In middle school, my cousin Jeff and I were playing basketball outside at his home.  In that day, the cool thing for boys to do was carry a small comb in their jeans back pocket.  I had a comb, and I'm sure Jeff did, too. One of us had one we bought at the Taylor Barber Shop!  There we were, shooting some hoops.  And just as one of us hit a big bucket while the other defended, a comb fell out of a pocket and landed smack on the driveway, right at our feet, below the basketball goal. We looked at the comb, then each other, mouths open, eyes wide, surprised expressions on our faces.  One of us proclaimed, "Oyette Taylor Maaagg." Maaagg = Magic.  We laughed hysterically, and that comb - and certainly the event - entertained us for years. The comb had magical powers!

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