Barber Spotlight: Barber of the Ville
They say, “Never trust a bald barber,” but I don’t buy it; I’ve been consistently visiting bald barbers for half my life. Cedarville welcomed Tony 15 years ago having no idea the impact he would create in this small town. For those unfamiliar with the area, Cedarville is a small farming town with a mid-size private college doubling the community population. Tony arrived with piercings riding a motorcycle with the coolest flame paint job any of us had ever seen; he did not fit the mold. If he had any doubters, he won them over immediately with consistent quality, friendly demeanor and a willingness to invest in the community. Tony may have been the first adult any of us had ever seen so willing to stick out from the crowd by just being himself. He’s a community leader, confidant, safeplace keeper and unofficial pastor for the community when people don’t feel like they can take the traditional route.
When I returned to Cedarville in August to meet with a team from the university, I saw just how integral Tony had become to my hometown. For 2 hours that morning, I sat in his shop as 4 customers in a row sat down and replied, “Yes,” each time he asked, “The usual?” After 15 years, he knows his customers well. And they’ve come to know him well; to the extent that they elected him mayor. It only seems fitting that he would get into politics considering the negotiations he endured between my mom and I during my middle school haircuts.
Truth be told, Tony is a lot more than a barber, and we respect that at Samson’s.