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Long-time barber loves the business

There’s a new barber on the block, and he considers hair his calling.
“This is a labor of love,” said Larry Weston, 57, who opened the Independence Barber Shop in Boger City in April. “This is not something you do for a long time if you don’t like people.”
Weston clearly likes people. He’s been a barber for almost two decades and owned two different Charlotte shops.
He decided to move after police told him to start carrying a gun and locking the shop door between clients.
“Charlotte was getting pretty dangerous – that’s the prettiest way to say it,” Weston said.
Raised in the Maine countryside, Weston feels at home in a smaller town. When asked why he left his home state, he brings out a snapshot of 10 feet of snow. He finds southern weather less taxing.
“I don’t change sneakers for the kind of snow you have around here,” he said.
Prior to becoming a barber, Weston spent long hours on the road as a truck driver. Owning his own shop seems stress-free in comparison.
He flips through three papers a day, listens to music on the radio (although never country-western, which he finds depressing) and reads books.
The best part of the job, however, is the clients.
“They can get a haircut anywhere, they come here for the company,” he said. “That’s the wonderful part – it becomes a friendship.”
Some of his old clients even make the trip from Charlotte to have Weston cut their hair. He says they know he’ll do it right.
“As soon as they find me, they never go,” he said.
Despite such customer service, Weston believes barber shops will be nonexistent in the near future.
“Twenty years from now, we’re gone,” he said. “The women are putting us out of business with a concentrated effort.”
Weston believes barber shops offers something hair salons never could – a place for men to be men.
“Men and women are different – it’s a basic truth,” he said.
He says his barbershop is a more relaxing place for men to visit. There are no weird smells or women being waxed.
“It’s a men’s only club,” he said.
And ideally these men develop a close friendship.
“I listen to them. I share my life with them,” Weston said. “They share their life with me, and we have fun.”
Just don’t be offended if he doesn’t recognize your face in public.
“I don’t know them from the front,” he said of clients. “I recognize the back of their head.”
Want to go? The Independence Barber Shop is located at 115 Fuchia Lane in Lincolnton, off of N.C. 27 East. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Monday and Sunday. Haircuts are $11. For more information call (704) 607-1709.
by Sarah Grano

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