Sunday, October 13, 2019

"The Kindest Cut of All"

By Jerry Zezima
Hearst Connecticut Media Group
In this age of rampant egotism and false pride, it’s nice to know that there is still a genuine star who hasn’t let fame go to his head, even after his head has just had a haircut.

I refer, of course, to my grandson Xavier. I also refer to Diego D’Ambrosio, who owns the barbershop where Xavier goes for a haircut but not, as yet, a shave, since he’s only 2 and a half.

Still, Xavier and Diego stand head and shoulders above all the other notables in Washington, D.C., where I recently saw both stars.

I was visiting Xavier; my older daughter, Katie, his mommy; my son-in-law Dave, his daddy; and my twin grandchildren, Zoe and Quinn, his sister and brother, who may be infants but are not as infantile as their grandfather.

I spent a week helping Katie and Dave with the twins, who needed to be fed, burped, changed and brought to the doctor’s office. I also helped with Xavier, who needed to be brought to school, played with afterward, read to before bed and, on the last full day of my visit, taken for a haircut.

I found out when Katie and I walked into the doctor’s office with Zoe and Quinn that Xavier isn’t the only Xavier in the nation’s capital.

“Xavier!” shouted a nurse.

“Xavier was here yesterday,” Katie told me, looking confused. “He had a shot.”

Just then, a young man with a child in his arms walked toward the back to see the doctor.

“There’s another Xavier,” I said. “But of course, he’s not the main one. Our Xavier is.”

“That’s right,” Katie said as she held Zoe, who promptly threw up all over the front of her mother’s striped dress.

In the examination room, the doctor looked at the glistening streak and said, “It’s like modern art.”

Zoe and Quinn each had two shots and an oral vaccine. Afterward, Katie and I took them to a bar. We each had a beer. The twins, making their first visit to such an establishment, had already consumed their bottles (of milk) and were passed out in their two-seat stroller.

“It’s good to get out of the house,” Katie said.

“Cheers!” I replied, clinking glasses with her.

At the end of the week, Katie and I took Xavier to Diego’s Hair Salon, which is on Diego D’Ambrosio Way.

“Diego must be the only barber in America who has a street named after him,” I told Katie.

“He’s famous,” she said.

That was evident when we walked in and saw that the walls were lined with autographed photos of D.C. notables, among them Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

We had to wait for Xavier’s turn, so we went back outside and encountered yet another Xavier, also 2 and a half and also waiting for a haircut.

“He’s the second other Xavier we’ve met this week,” I said to the second other Xavier’s parents.

Back inside, Diego couldn’t give Xavier a haircut because he had broken his hip and was using a walker, so Tania had the honor of cutting Xavier’s hair. She did a wonderful job.

On the way out, I spoke with Diego, who’s 83 and has owned his shop for more than half a century.

“You’re famous,” I told him.

Diego smiled modestly.

“My grandson is famous, too,” I said. “He’s been the star of many of my columns. I think you should have a photo of him on the wall. He’ll even autograph it. In crayon.”

“I’ll put it up,” Diego promised.

“And don’t worry,” I said. “Like you, Xavier won’t let fame go to his handsome head.”

Copyright 2019 by Jerry Zezima

No comments: