Jazzy Jax

-Barbershop Tales-

Chapter 3

“Fly me to the moon… 

let me play among the stars,

And let me see what spring is like…

On a-Jupiter and Mars.”

Floyd was working on his supply list when he heard the pleasant voice outside, singing one of his favorite old Sinatra tunes.

A tall, thin man stood at the foot of the steps with a microphone in his hand. The colorfully clad gentleman wasn’t singing into it, however, it appeared that he was holding it for someone else. 

Floyd stood up and leaned over his desk toward the window to see that it wasn’t a ‘someone else’ at all. It was a parrot. He had heard rumors of this singing bird, Jazzy Jax, but he had never really believed it. And here, outside of the barbershop, perched the proof. 

He went outside and introduced himself, offering the man a few dollars that he had pulled from his petty cash box. The gentleman bowed as he took the money, and Jazzy Jax nodded his head up and down and spoke for the pair.

“Thank you, thank you… whistle, whistle.” He sang. “Nice man, nice man.”

The gentleman’s name was Jeffrey, and he and the bird were making a few final stops in Jagger Hills before heading out for their summer tour. Every June and July, when the weather was best, they would travel to the neighboring towns and perform. Kids parties, church picnics, and every now and then – when they were lucky – they’d be offered gigs at week-long community fairs. 

Floyd loved the idea of this singing bird, and his thoughts wandered… far away from the conversation… as he imagined how fun it would be to have the two perform inside of the barbershop. 

Jeffrey was still talking, unaware that Floyd’s mind was now somewhere else, but Jazzy Jax seemed to notice and he interrupted his thoughts.

“Hello, hello!” Jax shouted. “You’re so pretty!”

Floyd saw the whole thing as a sign. He’d never thought of things that way before, but with Henry’s presence around the shop he was beginning to think differently – his mind opening up to consider that maybe… just maybe… signs and miracles might exist.  

Suddenly, the wind began to stir and dark gray clouds covered the sun. The sky opened up and it poured. “And what kind of sign is this?!” Floyd muttered to himself with sarcasm as he hurried to the barbershop door. 

Jax fled to his partner’s shoulder, and Jeffrey – soggy and confused – grabbed his stand. 

“Don’t just stand there,” Floyd yelled. “Come inside.”

The rain persisted for several hours, so Floyd and Jeffrey enjoyed hot coffee and cocoa. They talked about the bizarre weather they were having, and then Floyd asked about the possibility of Jax performing at the barbershop.

Jax had napped through the worst of the storm, but he opened one eye and shook his head when his name was mentioned. Jax contributed his own two cents to the conversation with some Nat King Cole…

“That’s why darling, it’s incredible…

that someone so unforgettable,

thinks that I am unforgettable too.”


This was a little off the cuff here. I created the illustration over the last couple of days and literally kept adding details as I thought about what might be happening in the scene. That being said, the chapter kind of tells the story of the image, rather than the image being created for the story. Not an easy task!

The chapter I had been working on before – that is almost finished – is staying on hold until I figure out which letter it might represent. For now, Jazzy Jax seemed like a cute “J” word and a fun addition to the barbershop story.

I’ve been having conversations with my son about what is going on in the world (wars, and rumors of wars), and I absolutely had to go total upbeat fiction on this because there is far too much sadness and fear out there already. So, a singing bird it was!

That’s about all for now. Thank you so much for reading… I hope you were entertained!

Until next time,

Peace & Love!

Amazing Grace

-Barbershop Tales-

Chapter 1

“My husband’s having an affair,” Grace mumbled, her eyes fixated on the floor. 

A single tear slid down her cheek as she clicked her sandals together – shaking off remnants of freshly cut hair that had managed to land between her toes.

Grace was one of Floyd’s first clients and she saw him religiously – every other Friday. Normally, there was nothing but small talk between the two, so Floyd was quite surprised when Grace decided to unload.

Her hair was long and tired, and she’d kept her natural color (salt and pepper tones) for nearly a decade. She was aching for something new, something dramatic, but every time she got to Floyd’s the panic would set in. 

Grace’s heart would race, her palms would sweat, and her knees would wobble as she walked to the sink. “A simple trim and blow dry will do” she would always say. 

But this time Grace was different. Having said, out loud, what her husband had been doing, she felt stronger – more courageous. She was angry, too, an emotion that had been trapped inside of her until now, imprisoned behind her silent sadness.

“You have my permission to go wild,” she said to Floyd. “I want to feel beautiful again.”

Floyd was ecstatic. There was nothing he loved more than creative freedom. He bluetoothed some classical music to the barbershop speakers, turned the chair away from the mirror so that Grace couldn’t watch, and he began to work his magic. 

Large locks fell to the floor, Floyd brushed on dye from two bowls of color, and a couple of hours flew by as Grace talked about her situation at home. Soon, it was time for the big reveal.

“Close your eyes,” Floyd said, slowly spinning the chair toward the mirror. “Ready, set… Ok, you can look now!”

Grace opened her eyes and stared, taking her reflection in with awe. She barely recognized herself.

The bell over the door jingled as Floyd’s next customer walked in. Grace was so absorbed in the mirror that she hadn’t even noticed, but when she got up to thank Floyd she saw someone seated in the waiting area.

The man was leafing through an old newspaper when the woman rose from her chair. As their eyes met, there was an air of familiarity about them.

“Peter?” Grace questioned, even though she knew it was him. She could never forget those eyes. 

It was Peter McGuire, an old flame from high school. He had moved to Utah after graduation, and the two hadn’t seen each other since. They stayed in touch briefly – a few calls and letters – but eventually, as with everything else in Grace’s life, the romance fizzled out. The two went separate ways… each in search of a more convenient, and more local, relationship.

Peter nodded, still searching his mind to recall who this woman was. Then it hit him.

“Oh my God! Wow. Grace, you look amazing!”

Floyd swept his station and then hid in the back, giving the two a few minutes – and a little privacy – to catch up. 

The door jingled again, and Floyd came out to find the shop empty. “Amazing indeed,” he said, smiling to himself. He turned the sign at the door to read Closed and grabbed his keys to lock up.


That’s about all for the letter “G” – a little intro about “Grace,” one of Floyd’s (many) loyal customers. This is exceptionally fun, because stories about each character can change, grow, or even end… the sky is the limit. We may or may not find out where Grace and Peter ran off to. Maybe we’ll meet her cheating husband? You just never know.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed tonight’s chapter… I’ll see you again soon for the letter “H.”

Until later,

Peace & Love!

Floyd’s Place

-Barbershop Tales-


Secrets were never safe in the town of Jagger Hills. Gossip traveled so fast that the phone lines buzzed. Tourists – who didn’t know any better – would often duck and run, believing that a swarm of bees was overhead. Then, after a while, people got tired, or hurt, or just plain angry, and they all stopped talking. For about six months, the phone lines were silent. That’s about the time that Floyd’s moved in.

Floyd’s was the town’s first (and only) barber shop, and Floyd’s reputation grew about as fast as gossip used to travel. It wasn’t just the haircuts that people were raving about, either. What really had the town buzzing again was the fact that Floyd was a great listener. And, as rumor had it, he assured every new client that their secrets were safe with him. “What’s said in the shop, stays in the shop,” he would say.

And so the story begins.


Well… I’m on the letter “F” right now and I thought that Floyd’s Place would be a good way to ease my way back into fiction. It’s a slow and short start (as you can see!), but I think it will be a fun and entertaining story full of “quick to read” snippets.

I had a good time creating the illustration for this as well – and I’m looking forward to some more ‘in the salon’ artwork.

That’s about all for now. I hope you enjoyed the intro – and I’ll see you again soon for Chapter One of the story… and the letter “G.”

Until later,
Peace & Love!