"Beyond the Bubble": Explore Salem

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Wayne’s King’s Men

Wayne’s King’s Men

I found a place in Salem where I can regularly get my hair cut for a reasonable price of fifteen dollars and meet some of the local Salem community along the way. Wayne’s King’s Men is a barbershop located on 13th street in Salem just a few blocks from campus. When I first entered Wayne’s King’s Men, a man I later found out was Wayne told me haircuts are by appointment only, so I signed up for a Thursday morning and returned later. I discovered Wayne’s feels like a classic barbershop that could be seen in a movie, but with less atmosphere than most because it is by appointment only.

In the end a haircut is the same no matter where you get it, but when you go to a real barbershop you pay for the haircut and the experience. A few days before I came to Willamette I talked with my barber back home. He said, “Find the place that offers the best haircut for your money. Nobody will know where you got your haircut, but they will know if it looks good or not.” Beyond getting a haircut, a barbershop is a place for men to talk about whatever they want with no filter. Only men go there resulting in a very casual place where one can shoot the bull. In a barbershop one can hear many different opinions on topics that range from sports, pop culture, women or politics. A barbershop provides an enlightening experience through convergence of so many people of different ages and backgrounds. Here men do tend to “open up” more to “the guys” because of the casual environment and truly customers at barbershops do become “the guys” because they likely see each other every time they get a haircut.

Wayne’s King’s Men is a classic barbershop in Salem and seems to have loyal customers who come back time after time to get a haircut. When I sat down for my haircut I came to the realization I was the only customer in the shop. Even though nobody was there I could tell he had many customers because his appointment sheet was completely full. As I talked with Wayne Jr., I found out the television sitting on a chair was two weeks old and the only “new” thing in the shop. At Wayne’s a customer makes an appointment, sits for a haircut, and walks out the door in less than half an hour. This takes away from the atmosphere of the barbershop because, instead of four or five guys sitting around watching ESPN and talking about sports, it is just you and the barber cutting your hair. Wayne’s King’s Men is the closest, easiest and cheapest place for me to get a haircut. It caters college students because it is quick and easy, but doesn’t quite have the barbershop atmosphere I am used to. Maybe the new television will change things at Wayne’s King’s Men.

By Jackson Watt, 10/4/2012

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