Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gene the Barber

In a row of shops across from the Gladstone Theatre between Elmwood and Lawn Gene the Barber plied his trade for five decades. One of the nicest men you'd ever want to meet his passions were golf, sports and family. I started going to him when he worked in the same barber shop back in the 50s... then it was "Sal's Barbershop." Later, Gene bought the shop and reduced it from four chairs to two. Mike Morris was his long-time second chair.

The haircuts were always perfect and, since the barbershop never changed in decor, it was a little trip back in time whenever a haircut was necessary. Young men called him "Mean Gene the Cutting Machine" and were so loyal to him that they would come in from Grain Valley and places further.

His daughter always decorated the shop for Christmas with a tree in the window. Only two subjects were forbidden in the shop.... politics and religion.... see... he was also wise.

Gene, through his front window, watched over the years as the Gladstone went from movie theatre to roller rink to church to beauty school... but, while it changed, he never did.

Above, I talked him into posing for me a couple years before his retirement.... barber chair and golf club... that was the man.

Toyo view camera, 90mm lens, t-max 400 4x5 black and white film, exposure unrecorded. Available light.

1 comment:

  1. He cut my hair from the time I was three until I was about nineteen. That was when he retired and Tony took over. It took him about 45 minutes to cut one persons hair, so I had to find a new barber. I miss Gene!