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A day in the life of a friendly Duluth barber

DCN Correspondent

Black and white adhesive stickers spell “barbershop? on the window next to the door. I open the door that has a hand-written sign displaying the hours hanging on it and see that Don Hanson is midway through a trim of one of his regular’s hair.

“You could probably say Colonel Sanders was here getting his hair cut,? Hanson says laughing along with the Colonel Sanders look-a-like. Hanson, maybe 20 years younger than the look-a-like, is able to laugh because he still is without gray hair.

The two chat about the weather, hunting and mutual friends as Hanson continues to slowly clip off pieces of hair, each white hair falling on the checker-board floor.

“He’s one of the best barbers in town,? the customer says while sitting in the single chair in the shop.

“There aren’t a lot of barbers left,? Hanson adds. “I’m sure it’s less than 20.?

A week-old newspaper sits on one of the 10 waiting room chairs. Each section of the paper is separated as though it has already been read through several times. On a table next to the chair is an old press release from when the shop opened last February reading, “Barber Shop coming to Woodland.?

“Do you want it shorter or longer?? Hanson asks the closed-eyed customer.

“I’m sorry I woke you up,? Hanson laughs as he makes the finishing touches using his electronic razor.

The buzz is quiet enough that the two can continue to talk on top of the noise. Hanson finishes the cut by combing the customer’s now shorter hair.

“Two haircuts left,? Hanson tells him after he pays. “You get a free haircut after your ninth appointment,? Hanson tells me.

Hanson now takes rest in his barbershop chair and waits for the next customer to come inside. Looking outside through the snowfall we see a young man working underneath the hood of his car.

“He’s one of my customers from yesterday,? Hanson says. “He lives right down the street. He works at the Piggly Wiggly.?

Hanson speculates what might be wrong with the car: A hose? Battery? Engine?

“I hope he gets it to work,? Hanson say genuinely concerned as the Piggly Wiggly employee gets back in his car. The car starts, and he drives away.

Hanson continues to look out the front window where across the seat you can see Denny’s Ace Hardware and Falk’s Drug.

“It can get long,? Hanson says of the waiting in between customers. “I usually read or listen to the radio.?


I've enjoyed visiting Mr. Hanson for haircuts since reading about his shop in the Budgeteer a number of months ago. He's quite an enjoyable person to chat with!