bernie goes to barber college
As many of you know, Bernie Jungle has been an avid woodworker for 31 years—that’s a lot of hands-on tool time! But for many reasons—health and otherwise—it’s time to shift careers. Ever since Bernie was a little kid back in Pittsburgh, he's set his sights (and his scissors) on becoming a barber. Here’s a true story: Bernie’s father, like many of our well-meaning and penny-pinching dads, used to cut his son's hair. Now, you may be acquainted with Bernie’s tresses and their unruly ways—so these home jobs sometimes got Bernie a bit, well, lopsided and snippy. So it was just his luck when the local mall announced a holiday coloring contest. Bernie got out his trusty crayons, colored inside the lines, submitted his masterpiece, and won first place! The prize? A Barbershop Haircut. He was in heaven: the smell of the powder, the swivel chair, the crisp paper collar, the fine cloth hair catcher, the feel of the horse-hair brush that the barber used with precision and a kind of wise artistry—the whole ritual of the occasion sent Bernie into a kind of rapture from which he’s never recovered.
And now the stars have aligned for Bernie to take his rightful place among the pantheon of great barbers--with a year-long house-sitting gig in St. Paul, Minnesota and the chance to make some headway toward certification at a long-time Barber School nearby! The only thing holding him back, though, is affording the training: between high California rents and the modest pay even for master craftsmen, Bernie hasn’t been able to save for his dream. So, he’s been prompted by many enthusiastic pals who believe this move makes sense--not only for him but for all the heads (and hearts) his hands will touch and tend—for a Go Fund Me site. Friends! Family! Curly heads, straight heads, brunettes, blondes, baldies—for the shear good luck of it, please consider playing a part in supporting Bernie on this new adventure in earning a living, and join the rest of his fans as he works toward his barbering degree. He’s so grateful for any boost you might be able to spare toward tuition and supplies—and humbly asks for a little help from his friends as he pulls up roots and cuts this new course. And finally: free barber cuts (once he learns how) for all donors upon request!
please forgive me for not posting more updates about my life in barber school here in MN
I thought for sure i'd be doing a blog or at least posting often but instead I've been going all old-school and just going to school, working really hard and there is a light ahead in this crazy tunnel
the nine month program started feb 1 and there are now 8 weeks left !!!
I take the State Board test Nov 6th
I cannot thank you all enough, truly, for helping me to make this happen !
it's something I will always remember and when I visit I will give you a bear hug and a haircut too !
I've been really putting myself into the program and learning a lot and becoming a decent barber. doing approximately 100 haircuts / shaves a month and it's been seven months and I have some great instructors so making lots of progress. doing mostly shaves and mens haircuts but doing decent long hair cuts too and managed a pixi cut yesterday for a very happy client
and I love it !
I truly do, it's really a fit for me. my background in woodworking really is a transferable skill and i'm really enjoying making connections and talking with clients. my days cutting hair are so much different than those behind the tablesaw and I feel very very lucky to have made the change and I could not have done this without the generosity of you, my friends
it's been great putting myself into this without working another job as i'm able to spend evenings studying and I've been getting mostly A's on tests. it's a super rigorous program and I had no idea I'd be memorizing so much anatomy and chemistry. The State Board is a half day of testing with a live haircut / shave on a model as well as a two hour written test, that I hope I am ready for and indeed will find out in November
living in Minnesota has been great, and odd and familiar, as I grew up in this climate in Pennsylvania, but still, I kind of forgot about heat and humidity, about getting covered in mosquito bites (there are 10,000 lakes here after all) and summer has been so great and hard to believe that when we got here I was out on a frozen lake in minus 22 degrees with two pairs of long johns on !
but oh, spring was exciting here, so much green it was unreal, and spring peepers peeping was deafening and so fun to watch spotted fawn frolicking in the woods behind the house we have been staying in
autumn is approaching and the maples trees are starting to change and it's breathtaking, it's going to be a good season that way and in a matter of weeks all the leaves will be bursting in color and then they will be shed and on the ground and snowflakes will be falling.
all feels like a good metaphor for me and my life, for making such a great and interesting turn at my age and i'm truly happy for the change and eternally grateful for your friendship and support
it's uncertain if we'll move back to CA but I will certainly visit and hope to see you when I do and in the meantime, it's great to be in touch and see what you all are creating you incredibly talented and big hearted pals of mine