I happened upon Rustic Cuts in south Everett while on a quest talking to barbers and stylists for an upcoming story about fixing Donald Trump’s hairdo.
At first I was confused: The barnwood shop looked like a saloon on a Wild West movie set, but with striped barber poles instead of swinging doors.
I was greeted by Don Baird, 76, who was busy clipping a customer into a Caesar cut, not slinging a whiskey.
“Want to know how I feel about politics?” he said. “Go look out there. That’s how I really feel.”
He pointed the scissors toward the back door window. I expected to see a donkey or elephant or Sarah Palin’s rifle, but instead saw an outhouse.
A double-decker outhouse, with the top marked “Politicians” and the bottom marked “Voters.”
What’s up with that?
“I’ve always kind of felt like the people have been dumped on,” Baird said.
He and a construction friend built the barbershop and outhouse six years ago. The rectangular shop at 1921 110th St. SE is in the same footprint as the Sears catalog kit house that had stood there for 70 years before.
Baird got the outhouse idea some years back from a political cartoon he saw. “I felt like, yeah, that’s how I feel,” he said. “When I had that leftover wood from building this place, I just kind of stuck it up there. People get a laugh out of it, but that’s how I really feel about it.”
During the heated Trump-Clinton campaign season, a farmer in New York who thought politicians were full of bull erected a similar two-story outhouse and it went viral.
Other political-themed outhouses on the internet have toilet seats inside marked “ballot boxes.”
Baird didn’t go that deep. “Nothing in there but about a thousand pounds of sandbags to keep it steady so it won’t blow over.”
You can’t see his lampooning latrine from the street. It’s behind Rustic Cuts, on the drive-thru loop for Steamers Espresso on a sidestreet off a busy stretch of 19th Avenue SE near Silver Lake.
It turns heads from coffee stand patrons, but what really generated interest was the Pokémon Go craze this past summer.
“It’s a Pokéstop, so there were a lot of people coming here for that,” Baird said.
He’s been known to send customers out there. “There are a few who say, ‘Can I use your restroom?’ and they start walking outside. I let them go, just for a joke.”
The doors are a facade and don’t open; only virtual pocket monsters can go there.
There are indoor facilities in the four-chair shop, where his daughter, Autumn, is an apprentice barber.
Baird, a California native, has been barbering since 1964. He had a brush with segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1968.
“He was on a presidential campaign in West Covina, California,” Baird said. “They called the shop where I worked and said they had an entourage of about eight people that wanted haircuts, and would we stay open later in the evening, and they would pay us handsomely for it.
“George Wallace came in with all of his little state troopers and bodyguards and everything. I cut his hair. He was just this guy running for president and I was all happy to see him and shake his hand. I wasn’t into politics and didn’t understand what he stood for.
“I gave him a decent haircut. He had black hair that lay close to his head. The haircut looked good. I did my best, which I regret. Had I known what he stood for, I would have put the clippers on his forehead and went right straight back like a skunk all the way down. Well, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to do that, but I would have refused to cut his hair. Wallace was a racist.”
He got a handsome $20 tip from Wallace’s aid.
As a barber, he has studied the hair atop Trump and other big names.
“George W. Bush had good hair, but I thought he never got really good haircuts,” he said. “Pete Carroll’s another one who gets bad haircuts. My guess is that beauticians cut his hair, not barbers. I would like to cut his hair.”
What would he do if The Donald sat in his chair?
Find out Sunday in a Herald story about how he and other local hair pundits would style Trump’s hair.
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; email@example.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown.