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Barber creates more than great haircuts

By JEREMY PIEPER
DCN Reporter

The early morning sun shone brightly down upon a small barber shop named Floyd’s Hair Choppers. A small barber pole spun cheerily outside the shop, seemingly eyeing up passers-by who could use a quick trim.

Inside the shop, Steve "Floyd" Wahl sat back in a brown chair, slowly perusing the morning newspaper. Before long, the front door swung open and in shuffled a man named Walter Rauschenfels who was wearing a hat and carrying a cane.

Wahl rose to take the man’s coat and hung it on the coat rack as they greeted one another as old friends often do. Walter took a seat in the center barber chair and soon, small pieces of hair were falling on Floyd’s shuffling feet.

Wahl’s barber shop is not a new shop to Duluth with some new twist to hair styling, but instead it has been around for quite some time. Floyd’s Hair Choppers has been in operation in for 14 years, which has allowed Floyd to make many close acquaintances in the area.

Throughout the many years that Wahl’s shop has been in business, he has attracted many customers; many of whom have been coming to Floyd ever since he opened. These people have helped create an uncommonly friendly community in this small 4th Street barber shop.

Explaining why people visit his shop and continue to come back, Wahl said that “part of it is convenience, part of it is the haircut, and some come back for me.?

“I get new people in every week,? said Wahl, “You just have to be friendly and listen.? It is through this point of view that Wahl maintains a shop that not only provides a barber, but provides a friend to whom one may tell a life story or merely make small talk.

Joel Gratiot, who has been coming to Floyd for 10 years, said that “he’s personable…a friend. We became friends by me coming here.?

Floyd’s Hair Choppers proves to be a place where one may find a man who enjoys his customers, the community he lives in, and what he does which is reflected in the work he performs and the way he treats his customers.

“I really like this community,? says Wahl, “You get a little bit of everything.?

The final piece of hair fell to the floor as Floyd grabbed a hand mirror to help show Walter his new haircut. Soon the chime of the cash register could be heard ringing through the air as Walter paid, a smile spreading across his face.

Wahl helped Walter don his hat and coat, said his goodbyes, and resumed his morning paper until the next person came in for a haircut.