There's a clock movement on the wood-grain panel-covered walls, and its red second hand with crescent moon shape at the short end glides smoother than the most expensive Rolex. It points to no numbers; there are none. It’s power source remains unknown.
On either corner of that wall are speakers that could have come from a Montgomery Ward hi-fi. Only one works and there is a layer of dust on top of both. There’s bright lighting to illuminate the lucky subject; there’s just enough for those waiting.
A picture-less and back-less frame is hung to the left of the clock. Tonic bottles of every shape and size are stored in a cart that, to my knowledge, has never moved. As always, a sign is posted above the cash register announcing when Neal will be on vacation—so you can plan your next haircut accordingly.
One blog post cannot accurately describe the place. But this is where I wanted Anthony to get his first haircut.
Welcome to Neal’s Barber Service, a small shop in Bellflower, CA on Lakewood Blvd. Everybody knows Neal and vice-versa. Neal’s assistant Billy is just as sharp with names and faces. And for $9 ($8 for kids), you get one hell of a haircut and an ambiance that you only see in movies.
Combs are still kept in that mysterious blue liquid. Neck trims are done with warm shaving cream and the blade sharpened on a leather belt. When you are through, your neck is given the Pinaud Clubman treatment. You may not know the product but trust me--you've smelled it before. And it's awesome.
Neal and Billy always know what you want. There’s never any question about it, unless it’s been awhile like it was for me. I can set my time to my new haircut, better than anything I’ve ever gotten at Supercuts.
As for Anthony’s new cut? He struggled a bit but he pulled through. Neal even awarded him a “First Haircut” certificate that I will fill out in calligraphy tomorrow:
This certifies that Anthony has graduated from babyhood having received his first haircut on this 21st day of May 2005.
Neal’s Barber Shop
16111 Lakewood Blvd.
Man, it doesn’t get any better than that.