MOUNT VERNON — After 56 years as a barber, Jerry Baugher is hanging up his scissors. Today is the final day patrons will be able to visit Jerry’s Barber Shop, at 404 W. High St.
Many customers paused on Tuesday to express their good wishes and to encourage Jerry to “Take care” and “Have fun.”
One long-term client, Spencer Sheldon, has been coming to Jerry’s Barber Shop for 10 years. He echoed the sentiment of many others. “It’s a little sad to see him go,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun to come in here and talk to the different people. ... Jerry is a super guy. Absolutely I will miss him.”
Baugher’s career as a barber began after his graduation from barber school in 1954. His first job was in Crestline. He then worked in a shop where Mount Vernon City Hall is now. He then moved to the West High Street building in 1956 and has been there ever since. He also concurrently operated a barber shop in Millwood for a number of years.
Baugher said the biggest change in barbering occurred when the Beatles came in. “A lot of barbers left the business then,“ he said. “They wouldn’t cut the long hair, and the customers went to beauty shops. I cut the long hair, though. Now the styles are back to short hair, like the high and tight Marine-style cuts.
“When I started cutting hair, haircuts cost $1.50, and flat tops were the main style. Today, cuts cost $10 and I still do flat tops.”
Baugher said he wants to thank his customers for their loyalty. “I’ve really appreciated the business I have gotten,” he said. “I have people whose hair I have been cutting since 1955. I’ve cut fathers’ and grandfathers’ hair. Not long ago, I cut the hair of the fifth-generation of the Clutter family. ... I will really miss the work, especially talking to the people.”
Baugher and his wife of nearly 54 years, Mary Ellen, plan to spend time with their three children and five grandchildren.
“We’re going to do some traveling, too,” Baugher said. “In this business we never had time to travel. We want to go west and check out the mountains and the Badlands, and we want to go up Northeast.”
Jody Oswalt has worked alongside Baugher for 13 years, and, with mixed emotions, will be moving on to the Plaza Barbershop. She will miss Baugher. “He’s been a good guy to work with,” she said.