42 years, 1 chair for SE Missouri barber

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(DEXTER, Mo., AP) — Stop in for a haircut at Charlie Parrish’s barbershop in Dexter and you’ll sit in the same barber’s chair he installed during the Nixon administration.
Parrish has been cutting hair in the southeast Missouri town for 42 years. Aside from the chair’s upholstery and the price of a haircut, not much has changed. Parish still chats up the regulars who wait their turn in a row of black seats, discussing his most recent rabbit hunt, sports or the day’s news. Fresh coffee is always at the ready, a sign above the pot reading, “Old fishermen never die … they just smell that way!”
Parrish told the Dexter Daily Statesman (http://bit.ly/1329MSX) that he has no plans to retire but that he’s always “on call.”
“That means if I get a call from anybody to go fishing or hunting, I go,” he jokes.
Otherwise, Parrish works 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. four days a week, just like he has for four decades. He has leased the shop for all 42 years without much thought of buying it.
“I believe I’ve paid for it twice,” he laughs.
A haircut that cost $1.25 when Parrish opened the shop is $10 now. And he no longer offers shaves, a concession to arthritis.
But the regulars keep coming. Some, like Bruce McClintock, have passed the tradition to his son and his grandson.
“I’ve been going to Charlie for more than 40 years,” said McClintock. A photo proves it — McClintock and three other generations of his family visiting the shop.
As for that old chair, don’t expect Parrish to replace it anytime soon.
“Never saw a reason to get a new one,” he said.