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!

Black & Blue

A Cat Poem

I am the queen of the castle,
I’ve earned my place on the throne.
I deliver goods to my people,
Be it feather, or fur, or bone.

My enemies cry for attention,
In the darkness they growl and mew.
I chase them down the alleyway,
Until my paws are black and blue.

I am the queen of the castle,
I’ve gained full access to the inside.
I nap, I nibble, and roll in the yard,
My coat of dirt is worn with pride.

I’m resting now, in this blanket of fluff,
Now go, please let me be.
I know you yearn for affection,
But all I have is complacency.

So, our cat Gypsy belongs to my son and she lives in the back unit with him. She never used to hang out in the house, but recently she discovered that my super warm Pendleton blanket is also super cozy. This was how I found her today; covered in dirt from head to paw (minus the oil paint effect that I added to tone the filth down a notch).

She reminded me of Pigpen from Charlie Brown. The dark patch on her face is actually the only spot that was clean and untarnished. Isn’t she a ham!? I’m sure she just spent time rolling in the dirt, as usual, but I thought she looked rough – like she’d been in a fight. Hence, the “B” words came to mind for my Alphabet Game – Black and Blue.

I suppose we can just cross off another – using “C” for Cat, so that’s three down and twenty three to go! I shot the pic with my iPhone and then used BeCasso to add the oil paint effect. Anyway, that’s about all for now… I hope you enjoyed!

See you around soon for the letter “D.”

The Funny Side

Does Anybody Remember Laughter? Robert Plant

I signed up for a fabric designing tutorial recently and the woman who authors the website and videos (Bonnie Christine) offered her readers a free gift – a printable pdf of daily art prompts for the entire year. This morning I decided to mull through it and I thought it would be fun to combine a few of the prompts to create something fun.

In the meantime, I realized that today’s #bloganuary prompt fit in well with my humorous theme: What brings you joy in life?

There are many things that bring me joy, but laughter wins the prize because it’s like a secret weapon. When I was struggling – feeling down and out and completely lost – my friend Gil would always be there, ready to respond to my text messages, and somehow he always managed to make me smile and laugh.

It wasn’t that the laughter removed any hardships that I was experiencing, and it wasn’t like I was trying to pretend that the difficulties weren’t real, it was more about the valuable lesson that I was learning… that hard times and laughter can coexist. And that laughter helps us keep plowing through.

Of course, we also need friends like Gil who take the time to be there for us – and actually make us laugh – so I’d have to say that friendship is right up there as well… tied for first place.

So, the art prompts I chose today were Unicorn, Storefront, and Sale Banner. I thought they made for a funny combo. I’ll tell you one thing though, illustrating a unicorn is no walk in the park. And by the look of things… he better skedaddle quickly before someone snatches his horn!

That’s about all for now. Thanks for reading or checking out my illustration!


(love you Gil!)