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Posts Tagged ‘barber’

24 Hours in Oslo

Because we went to Sweden by Norwegian Air, we took a bus back to Oslo to catch our homeward-bound plane, allowing a day for sightseeing in the city first. My husband had been there in the 1960s; I had never been.

As I came out of the bus station wheeling my bag, I saw an activity that I had recently read was occurring in several countries. A barber was giving a haircut to a homeless man. Another man explained to passersby about an effort to raise money for one homeless person at a time. I was so happy to find a good place to unload the rest of my Swedish kroner.

Here are my Oslo photos. Some are self-explanatory, but you might be puzzled if I don’t explain the bubbling water: it kept the eggs hot at our amazing hotel breakfast.

The first of three museums we visited was the Edvard Munch Museum, where the author Karl Ove Knausgaard had curated a show. I love Munch, and although I would have liked some wall text about what was going on in his life when he painted various pictures (a fantastic 2001 show at Boston College did that), I came away with some good ideas for representing the bark of pine trees.

The Nobel Peace Museum had an outdoor mural to free-speech heroes around the world and a moving photography show about Syrian refugees in Lebanon and how they longed for home. The main exhibit felt ironic though, given that Peace Prize recipients have sometimes been tyrants. And this hit me hard: hundreds of prizes, so little peace.

The wall text at the Ibsen museum was great and got me interested in reading more of his plays. The book below is not unique in using Munch cover art. Many Norwegian books use Munch paintings on their covers. He captures something powerfully Norwegian.

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Just saw this 2015 article on Facebook. Originally reported in the Telegraph Herald, the story is about a remarkably wise barber in Iowa.

“Dubuque, Iowa, barber Courtney Holmes is a member of the Dubuque Black Men Coalition (DBMC,) an organization that works to improve the quality of life within their community by providing support and leadership to programs that seek to make a difference in the lives of African-American youth.

“As a father of two, he understands the importance of encouraging kids to read, but also realizes that not all parents share this sense of encouragement, so he decided to take matters into his own hands by rewarding children with a free haircut, if they read books to him while he works.

“The concept began at a back to school event in Comiskey Park, where non-profit organizations gather to support kids in getting ready to go back to school. Holmes started with a few kids, and before he knew it there was a line of over 20 kids getting ready to read a story in exchange for a new look. At the end of the event there were still kids in line so he decided to give out vouchers for them to come back to the salon to read to him and receive their hair cut. …

“Holmes hopes to continue his good work through a monthly event at the salon. He’s also been receiving books from people who want to help keep the movement alive.

‘There’s a lot going on in the world. But it only takes one person to change something. I am just trying to make a difference.’

Check out the rest of the story at Earthables.

Photo: Telegraph Herald
Courtney Holmes, a barber and member of the Dubuque Black Men Coalition, offers free haircuts for children who read to him.

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