The barber business, like all other business, has seen many changes during the 18 year experience of Darrell "Deek" Hiserote, owner of the Hotel Barber Shop. Most of those changes have been beamed in the direction of sanitation. Others have been labor saving devices saving time for both the barber and the customer.
Hiserote, known by everyone as "Deek," got his first job in the Hotel Barber Shop, located in the Sheldon Munn Hotel building. That was back in 1937, and "Deek" had just finished his formal training in barber college. As it turned out, that was his first and last job. He is still there. . . only now he owns it, and has three other capable barbers working for him. They are Ed Mitchell, who has been at the trade in Ames for the past 38 years, seen of which have been with "Deek." Dick Bly who has been there for the past year and a half, and Dale Newell who came there to work last fall. Learn more about the Sheldon Munn Hotel.
But getting back to those changes in the business, and particularly in the field of sanitation. . . the old timer would hardly recognize it as the same business. For instance, the shaving mug has vanished completely. In its place stands an electrical device that spews out warm lather whenever the switch is turned on. In the really old days each regular customer had his own private shaving mug and brush. The mug usually had the owners name on it in gold. Of course in those days very few men were shaved more than twice a week. . . except possibly in the case of a funeral or wedding. Today most men shave at least once a day. . . only they do it themselves, instead of going to the barber shop. (Proof that the Hotel Barber Shop is completely modern in every respect, they sell the Norelco line of electric shavers.)
In the old days many barbers would use a face towel for a week at a time. . . but today it's much different. Each customer gets a fresh clean towel. . . and where ever possible the Hotel Barber Shop uses disposable paper towels. As for the tools such as combs, razors, clippers and shears, they are all completely disinfected between customers. In the first place such disinfecting has become standard practice in all good barber shops, and in the second place, it is required by law. However, many sanitary practices in in the Hotel Barber Shop are not required by law. They are followed for the benefit of the customer.
Hundreds of the small fry in our community have a first name acquaintance with the barbers at the Hotel Barber Shop. In fact, many mothers have a habit of leaving their tots at the shop for a hair cut while she shops. For the most part they get along swell with the kids. . . however, "Deek" recalls a a few instances where the young customer rebelled at what was going on. . . and had to be finished either sitting on the floor, or on the mother's lap.
One day, "Deek" recalls, a mother brought in a child with long blond curls. To spare her any embarrassment he told her quietly that they did not cut hair for little girls, and referred her to a beauty parlor. That one backfired. . . to "Deek's embarrassment. . . it was a boy with long curls, to get his first hair cut.