Knox celebrates with barber Larry Lewis

Larry Lewis (seated in center) holds grandchildren Paislee and Michael Songer while surrounded by (standing, from left) Corina Curry, father Dean Lewis, and daughters Alissa Songer and Amanda Curry.

Knox celebrates with barber Larry Lewis

Town turns out for Larry's 50th anniversary

By Rodney L. Sherman



It's pretty darned hard to keep a secret in a small town but Knox managed to do so July 3 when the town surprised barber Larry Lewis with a 50th anniversary party at his Main Street shop.

"Not a clue, not a single clue," Lewis said of his surprise party.

It was on July 3, 1969, when Lewis started on his career path. He was an apprentice to Glen Hiwiller, who himself was winding up a 50-year career as a barber.

But Lewis isn't planning on calling it day after 50 years behind the chair.

"I'm going to be here another 10 years anyway," said Lewis, 68, as a large group of friends, family and customers gathered to talk to and congratulate Lewis on his milestone.

"I have to work to pay for those trips to Florida to see the grandkids," said Lewis.

It was his daughters, Alissa Songer and Amanda Curry, who brought the anniversary celebration together.

"Alissa came to the house I was mowing and she said we needed to come in to the shop," recounted Lewis. "I didn't know what was going on but I got around and we drove in.

"She said to park up back and I wondered what that was about but I did it and we walked down around and there's some people standing around and I thought, ‘Oh, (next door neighbor) Maryne must be having a yard sale"

But it quickly became apparent to Lewis the gathering was for him.

"I just had no idea, no clue," said Lewis.

There's not a lot of small town barber shops left, but Lewis does a steady business with his loyal customers.

Many of his customers have been coming to the shop since Lewis started cutting hair at the shop July 3, 1969, after graduating from Erie Barber College the day before.

Some of those customers don't have as much hair as they did 50 years ago, but Lewis appreciates their business.

Although Lewis doesn't mention all of the community organizations he's involved in and supports, one service he performs that is much appreciated he makes house calls for customers who can't get to the shop.

The anniversary party might have been a surprise to Lewis, but it was no surprise the community turned out for the event..