When my brother Rick, who lives in El Paso, visits San Antonio, we always take a walk in the neighborhood where we grew up.
The building where my father’s small barbershop was located still stands at the corner of Nolan and Pine on the East Side of town.
My dad partitioned half of what was already a small address: 908 ½ Nolan Street. We lived in the other half. He did it to save money for our education.
Today, this address is the office of attorney, Maria Salazar, whom we visited and explained where my father’s 2 barber chairs and cabinets stood.
Then she mentioned something that we couldn’t believe.
She said that sometimes, when she comes in to work on Saturdays, sitting at her desk, she often smells a cologne-like aroma.
My brother and I wondered if it might be the scent of a specific brand of hair tonic my dad would use liberally after each cut.
So, I went online and found that the company that makes the fragrance: Jeris Hair Tonic, still exists.
I ordered a bottle and dropped it off at Maria’s office. When she returned and took a whiff of the tonic, she sent me the following text:
That’s it!!! Every once in a while, that’s the smell I get, especially on Saturday mornings.
I come in on Saturdays and that’s the smell I get when I step in. Wow!!!”
When I told Rick, he reminded me that Saturday was Dad’s busiest day. Thus, the more customers, the more tonic he’d shake out of the bottle.
Now, keep in mind that my dad moved out of that building over 40 years ago and the Dignowity Strip Center has been gutted and restored since then.
My father passed away in 1988 and I often feel his presence, guiding me from above.
I can’t help but believe that his fragrant sign was, “heaven scent”.

Sonny Melendrez is an award-winning motivational speaker, Hall of Fame radio/TV host and author, based in San Antonio. For more of his enthusiastic brand of inspiration and speaking information, visit his official site: SonnyMelendrez.com or email him at: Sonny@SonnyMelendrez.com Subscribe to his podcast, “The Sonny Melendrez Show,” wherever you access your podcasts.