Buzz Barbers, 547b Barkly Street, West Footscray.
The CTS story on Chris the barber at the Circle in Altona was well received, giving me the confidence and desire to occasionally profile these fascinating characters scattered across the west.
Next up – Aurelio at Buzz Barbers in West Footscray.
Aurelio gives me a superb buzz cut, a real professional job including eyebrows, for $10.
He’s been in the house for about seven years but tells me his corner shop has been home to one barbering operation or another for about 40 years.
He inherited the chairs.
He’s my kind of barber, preferring to keep his prices as low as possible with a view to encouraging return and regular customers.
His place is done out in classic old-school barber style.
As he works, we have a great old chat about the western suburbs, his Italian background, Italian food and the ebbs and flows of the barbering business.
Aurelio was born in Sicily but came with his family to Australia aged two, and was raised in the Moonee Ponds/Ascot Vale area.
He comes from a family of boilermakers.
We both chuckle ruefully when I suggest there has been a long-declining demand for boilermakers in the western suburbs.
He tells me I have a nice, round head that is well suited to the clean-shaven, shiny, bald look.
“If I did that, I’d look like a crim!” he says.
“You already do!” quip I.
“I know,” comes the quick retort. “But imagine how much worse it’d look without hair!”