I caught this sad story on the news the other day and I followed the story through to the end. I was pleasantly surprised that the article included this interesting look into some old shops around Sydney.
I was reliving my time at the Olympia Milk Bar. And I remembered my time with our local barber George.
George used to own this really old barber shop in Summer Hill. Walking into his shop was like taking a step back in time – right back to the 1950’s, when he first took over the business. The shop was sparsely decorated with 3 original barber chairs, the ones that you had to manually jack-up and down to the height of the customer. There were also old pictures around the shop, hanging over dated wallpaper. The pictures were of old Sydney, when we used to have the trams running through the city until the government decided to rip it up in favour of progress (ironically, we are in the process of laying them back).
And the one thing I will always remember about George is that he would always offer kids lollies from his jar by the counter after each haircut. It was such a sincere and genuine gesture which all the kids appreciated.
One day I learned that his passed away. He was in his late 80’s / early 90’s. That news took me by surprise even though I always wondered whether I would see him again after each visit.
I haven’t been to a barber since, opting to cut my own hair with clippers.
I miss George and his gentle ways. And I salute, each and every person in the story above.