Beyond the Western
Shaving With My Dad
Scott A. Gese

Image Source: Supply / Unsplash

Finding my dads old razor brought back some good childhood memories.

My dad passed away several years ago. Finding his old razor brought back some old memories.

As I cleaned out a cluttered drawer in the upstairs bathroom I happened across the razor that once belonged to my dad. Over the years it had gotten buried at the back of the drawer. I had forgotten about it.

My dad thought highly of this razor. It was an Ever~Ready brand safety razor that held a double edge blade. It was gold with a very ornate handle.

I lifted it from the hinged case he always kept it in. I was surprised it had some weight to it. Not like the cheap plastic disposables I tend to use.

As I held it in my hand, long forgotten memories came flooding back into my mind.

I was young. Five, maybe six. I recall sitting on the toilet seat watching him shave with the precision of a surgeon. Rarely would he nick himself.


As I appreciated the razors quality, I sat down on the toilet seat. In less than a moment I was there, watching him one more time.

He looked in the mirror and ran his hand over his face feeling his whiskers. Examining them. Maybe wondering what he might look like with a full beard, or just a mustache.

He then turned on the water, hot, all the way.

His shave cream was in a mug along with the brush he used to whip up a foamy lather and apply it. I can hear him whistling as he whisks the brush in the mug. He paints his face with a thick layer of cream.

I recall thinking how he looks just like Santa.

Next comes the razor out of its case. Steam boils up from the sink and the mirror begins to fog. He wipes it with his hand and leans in close. Staring intently into the mirror he starts.

He has a routine. Sides first, then his neck and under the chin, across his upper lip and then the little spot just below the lower.

After each long slow swipe he rinses the spent cream from his razor. It and his freshly severed whiskers swirl down the drain. He wasn’t much of a conservationist. He let the water run full on hot until he was finished. The bathroom was full of steam.

He towels off his face and admires himself in the foggy mirror.

Next comes my favorite part and the whole reason I’m there. He pulls out a bottle of Old Spice aftershave and shakes some into the palm of his hand, rubs them both together and gently pats it onto his face. I can smell it. He turns to me and smiles.

“Would you like some Foo Foo Juice?”

“Ya!,” I eagerly reply.

He pats my face down with a liberal amount of the sweet smelling cologne and laughs. “Best smelling kid on the block. Watch out for the girls,” he calls out as I run out of the room in delight.

As I got a little older, he would lather me up and give me Big Boy shaves. It felt good to be shaving with my dad. I didn’t know it at the time but found out much later that he smartly removed the blade before he gave me my shave.

I come back to the present moment, stand up and set the razor on the counter next to the sink. I look in the mirror, run my hand across my face. I don’t have the thick whiskers my dad had, but I do have his razor.

Today, I turn on the water, hot, all the way. When the steam starts to rise, I start whistling and reach for the cream.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.