I’ve been working the barber life a long time now and once in a while you get someone very special in the chair. Back in 2008 a gentleman with a scraggy beard, a huge black leather hat with a wide rim and a long dark raincoat sat in my waiting room. Unnoticed by anyone around him. A quiet unassuming man. Terry Pratchett.
Terry with no hair on his head was one of my beard customers and I have no doubt why I am so well known for tinkering with the beard to look stand out great. He wanted his beard to look like King George’s and to this day I still use ‘King George’ as a style recommendation. From that first visit Terry became not just a regular customer but someone I admired, respected and ultimately loved. His support for me was second to none. He invited me along to his first film (Hogfather) premiere and introduced me as his barber, I am the only person he signed a Hogfather book for that night! We’d have hours of conversation about ambition and dreams. Terry was a huge influence on my life; it was such a privilege to meet him: he himself started with nothing and with passion and love for what he did made a fortune. He once penned a letter of recommendation for a Customer Service Award I was up for (I won and it’s not lost on me his influence in that decision). His gift to me on our wedding day was to whisk the bride to the church in a Rolls Royce Phantom. Most of all though through the years leading to his final days that I knew him, I knew how to treat him, what he liked and I adapted to the devastating disease he endured.
He liked gardening but only did this job wearing his Armani trousers. Why save it for best was his reasoning. He was grumpy with those he barely knew and had very little patience with the people he did know! He started writing almost as soon as he’d read J R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings ~ he didn’t enjoy it and thought he would have a go himself and that’s how it all began for him. He died with at least another 10 books in his head.
There’s more I could tell but some things should be kept private, after all as a barber I am the keeper of many secrets and some need to stay that way.