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‘Rodney aka Fats on Changes’ by Danny Harris

Danny Harris is a DC-based photographer, DJ, and collector of stories. He launched People’s District, a blog that tells a people’s history of DC by sharing the stories and images of its residents. You can follow People’s District on Twitter @PeoplesDistrict, and can read his previous columns here.

“Man, everything done changes. Don’t matter if you are talking about neighborhoods or hair, ain’t nothing stays the same. I have been in the game of cutting hair for 2o plus years. I done seen the Caesar, the pompadour, the jheri curl, the S curl, the fade, the bald look, and now, the dread locks. In the neighborhood, I done seen things change from the hood to high living. Everything changes. Things come and go. I can get into most things, but no matter what happens, you will never find me in no skinny jeans!

“At the barber shop. I keep up with the style by taking things one day at a time. I look at different trends and get ready for what’s coming. Here, we don’t discriminate. If you got something, we’ll cut it. Don’t matter if it is hair, finger nails, or toe nails! My father and uncle were the same way. My father spent 30 years in the game. My uncle got 45 years in the game. They started cutting hair on T Street and then moved to 13th and Florida. Now, we are on 12th and V. Spott’s got 40 plus years in the game of cutting hair.

Continues after the jump.

“I got into this when I was young. I went to Bladensburg Barber School up in Maryland. I can remember the first person’s hair I cut. But wow, I don’t even want to talk about that right now. That’s how bad it was! I mean, we was in school at the time. We didn’t have much skills, so they was taking a chance on us, just like we was taking a chance on them. They gave us $5 for a cut and they were our human guinea pigs. It was a learning experience, though, and I have gotten much better over the years. Now, I can laugh at my trials and tribulations.

“Everything I did from then on, I am proud of. No one can be perfect because every head is different. But, I do my best. I even think about how I can do my best to change up my look. After ten years, I am thinking of getting rid of my dreads. Now, I want to go bald….like Kojak bald…like Michael Jordan bald.

“So, come on down to the barbershop. We will talk about the hot topics of the day and make you look nice. For sure, you are gonna get some conversation up in here about what is going on. Now, we are talking about Japan, the tsunami, and how Vincent Gray is twisted up right now. Come in and talk about your girl and your problems at home. When you leave, you leave the shit behind. I promise, this shit is better than the psychiatrist.

“Let me just say that we been around for forty plus years and I got at least another fifty years of cutting hair in me. So, while things change, we plan to stay right here. Make sure to come back and interview us again in five or ten years. We gonna be here.”

Spott’s Barbershop is at 1117 V St. NW.

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