Giovanni came to South Africa some 45 years ago [1]. He was one of the first people to cut my hair, at Salon Etna, on Thibault Square in Cape Town (my grandmother worked next door, in the Medical Centre).

Over the years Giovanni became a Cape Town landmark, to the point of briefly appearing in a Vodacom advertisement (13 seconds in).

Well, I went there this morning, and Giovanni is now called Eleanor… he retired in May, sold the place to her. She tells me he still checks in every week, and that one of the two barber’s chairs is on loan from him (he imported four chairs from Japan, waybackwhen, and vowed to give one chair to each of his sons and to keep one chair to himself [2], leaving Eleanor with a solitary chair — she will have to make a plan sometime).

Anyway, I shall toast the memories of his haircuts at sundowners tomorrow.

[1] My father can tell the story in the comments if he feels like it [3].

[2] Pieter can tell the story in the comments if he feels like it.

[3] Pieter can help my father figure out how to :-)

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