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Late last week, I drove through Mt. Holly, NJ. Mt. Holly (and Lumberton) was my hometown for 16 years of my life. I drove past my old house on Glenwood Road in Lumberton. I drove by my church (First Presbyterian Church) on Garden Street in Mt. Holly and my high school (Rancocas Valley Regional High School) on Jacksonville Road. And I stopped on High Street to visit my old barber shop (Don’s Barber Shop). As I stepped through the front door, my usual barber, Pat, smiled and said “Hello, Jon!”
I hadn’t been to Don’s Barber Shop in 16 (or more) years, and Pat still remembered me. She even knew my name.
I climbed up into her chair (easier than I did that first haircut in the early 80s), and I asked her to give me a haircut.
Over the next 20-30 minutes, we caught up. She told me about her 10-year-old granddaughter, and she asked about my parents and my brothers. I showed her updated pictures of my family. And Pat shared a few details about some of the people I knew from my time living in the area.
As I walked out, Pat offered me a pretzel rod. The price of the haircut was a bargain, and I benefited with great conversation, great memories, and a great pretzel rod. I quickly ran back to my car to retrieve a copy of my book, Rooftop Reflections. I walked back in the store, and gave Pat a signed copy as a thank you.
At Don’s Barber Shop, you get more than a haircut. You get a smile. You get a strong sense of community and of belonging. And you get reminder of the truly good things in life.
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