Contributed by MERLE (BUS) CORNELIUS and produced by SUSAN STAFFORD.


by Bus Cornelius

     There comes a time in life, when you do not want to admit it, but you are getting old. Years ago I would try to visit my parents on weekends, they were about eighty years old. On my visits my mother would say "Your dad would like a hair cut" and I would say "Mom I just took him last week and it looks OK." So I would drive him to the barber shop and the barber would trim him up. Years later we placed dad in a nice senior citizens home in La Jolla, it had a nice little barber shop in it, when we would go there to visit him we would have to check the barber shop, he was getting his hair cut about twice a week. Not that he needed it but to feel cleaned up, neat, the personal service!

     Now that I am approaching eighty I can understand him it is sure nice to get your hair cut, your eyebrows trimmed which you use to do that yourself when you could see.

     How times changes a person. I can remember as a kid I hated to have my hair cut, for several reasons, one I would miss out on playing ball in the park. One time in Lane Kansas I was about ten years old. I ran into my father on main street, he gave me a quarter and told me to go inside the barber shop, which we were in front of at the time and get a hair cut. I had been on my way to the park for our ball game so I entered Dave Walters barber shop and went out the back door and on to the park to play ball. " Needless to say I learned to obey my father and not slip out that back door again ".!! I will take this space to describe the barber shop of those days of 1930. When Mr. Dave Walters would leave his home in the morning for his shop he carried a bucket of water in each hand, up on arriving at his shop he would climb a step ladder with each bucket and pour the two buckets of water into a barrel. In the rear room, supported about ceiling height so he would have running water to work with, then he would fill the coal oil stove with coal oil under the barrel and light it for hot water. Some times his sons would come and get the buckets and carry water to the barrel they would also bring his lunch, he did not close the shop. No electric shears in those days, the shears were run by hand and you have never experienced an old fashion hair cut until the barber hand shears catches on your hair and he has to take the hand scissors and cut the hair between the clippers and your head. Hair cuts 25 cents and a shave and a hair cut was 35 cents. Mr. Walters would go to work at 9:00 A.M. Keep the shop open till 6:00 P.M. close go home and reopen at 7:00 and come back to shave a couple of men. I think he charged 35 cents for those evening shaves, if you requested additional hot towels on your face that was 10 cents extra. It was interesting to see him strap a razor it was flip flop back and forth on that leather strap. More kids were educated with a razor strap than was whipped with a paddle.

     In the corner of the barber shop Mr. Fred Walters [former telephone CO. Mgr.] ran a clock repair shop.

     Later in the 1930s a Cliff Adkinson who had a barber shop in Ottawa would return to Lane and open a second shop, I do not see how either one made a living, but of course in those days we did not require a lot.

--Bus Cornelius

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