Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hollywood on Being a Brick in the Foundation

“I’m 62 and learned how to cut hair in the 1960's. This barbershop has been in Shaw for at least 45 years. I took it over in 1988 from a guy named Square John. He had it for about 15 or 20 years before that. This barbershop has always been a part of the neighborhood. This is one of the few structures still standing, this and the liquor store next door.

“Everybody comes through here. I’ve seen half of the neighborhood grow up so this is like a mainstay here. A whole lot of people wouldn’t know how to act if we closed, so we stay open seven days a week. And this is where everyone comes to talk sports, politics, women, whatever. Doesn’t matter if people are getting a haircut or not, they come because it is a meeting place. So, me and this barbershop are just bricks in the foundation of the neighborhood. Since I’ve been here, I’ve had Redskin players come through, rappers, movie stars, a couple of Wizard players, mostly just the neighborhood though.

“The clientele here used to be all black, run-down, low-income and now it is gradually moving up economically. We got whites coming back to the neighborhood, Hispanics, it’s becoming more diverse. This diversity in the neighborhood is now being felt in the barbershop. For about ten years, I hadn’t cut a white head at all and now I am cutting two to three a week. And they talk more sports than we talk! And they talk more politics than we talk! We love it. It’s getting there, except when the Spanish guys come in, we can’t talk because we don’t know the language. Otherwise, everything is cool.

“We going to be here until we can’t be here no more. When I get too old to cut, I’ll just get someone else to come in here and take over. I’ve got other barbers working with me now, they’re young and have other jobs too, but one of them will take it over in time."

Go talk sports, politics, women, the neighborhood, whatever over a haircut with Hollywood at Hollywood Style and Cut at 710 S St. N.W.

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