Saturday, June 23, 2007

city barber

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The downtown areas of the local towns have been challenged with the development of large big-box shopping areas along Randall Road. I can't say the downtown businesses are not struggling, but I've seen places in this country where downtown areas are ghost towns. That is not the case here. The strength of our downtowns lie in the fact that they provide goods and services that are unusual and a cut above the "sameness" offered by retail corporate America. They are privately owned, many of them are mom and pop businesses without employees.

It's a surprise to some people that old fashioned barber shops are alive and well in northern Illinois. They are! Each of the local towns has a least one, sometimes two. This is the City Barber Shop in downtown Geneva, Illinois. What a breath of fresh air to step inside this place - accompanied by a flood of memories!

It's Swedish Days in Geneva - one of the many summertime festivals. It was hot on the day I took this photo and I ducked inside City Barber to cool off.

Sitting in the chair is Richard Wise, who is only one of the barbers at this location. He was kind enough to chat with me between haircuts. Richard served our country in the Korean War and studied at a barber college in Chicago after being discharged. He graduated in 1956 and has been working his trade ever since.

This shop is wonderfully maintained with beautiful chairs and a vintage black and white tile floor. Did you notice the vintage cash register? Stop by and check out City Barber Shop if you're in the area.


BettyWestern said...

I did spot the cash register! Was wondering if they still used it? We found a similarly 'quaint' barbers many years ago at Pike Place market in Seattle, run by a couple of old hippies. Cool old leather chairs and paraphenalia.

srp said...

I always loved the striped barber pole that turned outside... those look like fine chairs.

I have been remiss with my visits. My brother took time off in April and decided to invest in property here. He almost bought a house but it was on a very small lot and with the garden I wanted and the kitchen he wanted, it would not be ideal. So I talked him out of that one and as such inherited the task of finding a house. After two months of looking and weeding out, I had 13 properties for him to look at and he flew in from Europe for three days. He picked one.. actually the top three were exactly as I had thought they would be. Then he left again so I have been doing the leg work. I have his power of attorney so closing is this Friday! My blogging visits have suffered.

The other day I saw a sight that reminded me of your photo of the Canadian geese with their babies. I was driving along in the middle of Virginia Beach with three lanes going each direction and in front of me ALL the cars were stopped. There in the middle of the median was a female mallard duck with at least 15 little ducklings. Perhaps she was the nanny for a duck kindergarten and they were all going on a field trip. She hustled out into the middle of the road nudging them along. All crossed safely, but I was, as always seems to be the case, without camera at that instant. Traffic was backed up for almost a mile!