Pop Shoppe

Time to see the Butche…er I mean Barber!

My Kindergarten School Picture.

My Kindergarten School Picture.

When I was growing up, haircuts weren’t like they are now, or at least not around home. Till I got a little older, most haircuts were done at home with scissors and an old electric clipper.  The only other real option those days wasn’t a salon, it was a barber.

The only barber that I know of back how was Power’s Barber shop in the old Shopping Center back in Clarenville.  Was just over from the CO-OP if I remember correctly, and unfortunately had a big glass window so you were on display and doubly unfortunately was next to the bulletin board so there were always people stopping and though not necessarily looking in, making a self conscious boy feel like they were.

Like many doctors, dentists, butchers, and barbers in those days, gentle was not a word in their vocabulary.  Going to Power’s meant having your head yanked every which way, clippers and scissors wielded by someone who could have been Freddy Kreuger’s Great Uncle.

Later on, a salon opened in back of the old drug store in the same shopping center. Though that was really the “new” drug store.  The old drug store was down near the fork where memorial and marine drives split.  Not far from the old police station.  But that’s another story.

One of the stylists there was Carol-Ann something, she opened her own place in the old Pop Shoppe building later on.  I forget the other ones name, tho I preferred to visit her for as long as she was active and I needed a hair cut.

But for the longest time, we only had Power’s or our own wiles. Usually a professional cut was only done for special occasions when I was really young, though, as you can see by the picture, a professional cut may as well have been a butchers cut as a barbers.  I can’t say that I ever felt Power had any talent for cutting hair.  I remember mom saying he nearly butchered me! Even had my ears nicked and bleeding.

Maybe it was a rite of passage?  I don’t know, but luckily its now past!

The Pop Shoppe

Over the weekend, my buddy Bernard and I were discussing a memory of growing up in pretty much anywhere in small town Canada. For people of my generation, a trip to The Pop Shoppe was a fun and regular occurrence.  Unlike traditional pop, and before the time of so many store brand pops, there was The Pop Shoppe.

The Pop Shoppe back home, was, at least the only occasion I remember, down on Memorial Drive in Clarenville, just about right across from the medical center.  There was a hair salon in the same building in later years.

They operated on an interesting business model, franchising stores to people, and selling their own product in refillable, returnable glass bottles.  You’d get your product in cases of 24 and once done you’d return your bottles and get your deposit back or put towards your new case.

What was best about it though for the kid in me, was the assortment of flavors.  There were the usual copy cat ones, Cola, Lime Rickey, Root Beer, Sparkle Up, but by far the best, and maybe the best pop ever was Black Cherry.

Stubby Beer Bottle

Atlantic Superstore here used to sell a store brand black cherry flavor, but its no longer available, and while The Pop Shoppe has been reincarnated, I don’t see it for sale in any local locations, but man was Black Cherry ever good!

Another unique feature of The Pop Shoppe were the stubby bottles, like the old stubbies we used to get beer in back in Newfoundland, except clear and with The Pop Shoppe branding painted directly onto the glass.

Once the local one closed up, I still had some bottle laying around and for a time reused them to make Hire’s Root Beer from the little bottles you could buy at the co-op and Mercer’s.  Though I think as many of those exploded as were consumed, but that too was a great pop, and Hire’s, in my mind, while it and Crush were still independent was the best root beer I ever drank.