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Johnny Echols



October 10, 2005

Pat and Johnson “Hair Stylist’s” The Player’s Choice or simply the Barber Shop. This is the place where the local Musicians, Actors, and various other “Players” came; to have their doos done. Precisely the reason, Arthur and I were there, on this beautiful day in Oz.

P and J’s the name given the shop’ by their “countless” patrons, was a magnet; for many “colorful” characters.
There was Bodatious T. Jones the “booster,” who could get anything you wanted, be it a car stereo, or the Mercedes that came wrapped around it! Or “Shakespeare” the poet, who would regale you with his “esoteric” brand of poetry while administering a “glass” like finish, to your shoes!

The shop was busy, so we were settling in for a long wait, when the door burst open and in walked a jubilant Bobby Byrd, James Brown’s “man Friday.” Bobby served many roles for James__ in addition to back-up singer and m.c. he was valet, spokesman, gofer, chauffeur, whatever James needed at the time he was it!

The reason for Bobby’s excitement, soon became apparent, he was wearing a “new” ring.” look at the ring James gave me” he announced__ proudly showing it, to everyone in the shop! We all gave him his “prop’s” telling him how beautiful the ring was and how lucky he was__ too be it’s recipient! James, is really good to me, Bobby bragged, he’s always giving me great “gifts” like this!

Though he surely owned dozens, of more expensive rings; it was still a nice gesture on James’s part (giving Bobby that ring.) It was “horseshoe” shaped gold, with twelve or so diamonds, with (maybe) three or four missing stones. As for Bobby, he couldn’t have been happier, if he had just been given the “Crown Jewels!”

At that exact moment, as though we were all characters, in a scene written by a rather perverse “Playwright”__ in walked James Brown, the “godfather of soul himself.” How you all doin, how you all doin, James enquired__ of no one in particular? The “room” murmured it’s collective response, hey James, what’s happening James__ somebody even chimed in, “good morning godfather!” I looked over at Arthur and he remarked, I sure would love to have, whatever that dude is smoking! While making his way, through the shop and exchanging pleasantries with many of the stylists, James noticed some of the “players” still admiring Bobby’s “new ring.” Arthur leaned over and whispered, “watch this!”

James walked over to Bobby and demanded (loud enough, for everyone in the room to hear!) “What are you doing with (My) ring__ give me back (My) damn ring,” Bobby was “devastated,” as he removed the ring from his finger and handed it too him. (No doubt, James had, given him the ring) but when James Brown is in the “House,” nobody shares the spotlight; everyone’s attention, (must) be on Him and only Him. Later that evening I saw Bobby at one of the “spots” I looked down at his hand; he was wearing the ring!

Just another day in the life

Johnny Echols