A local barber is celebrating a career milestone. He’s been lowering ears for 50 years.
Now the owner and a barber at John’s Ever-Ready Barber Shop, Charles Miles took over the business in the 1970s, one his father started as a barber himself for $200. His experience with clippers began before then, though. After graduating from barber school in 1968, Miles officially began his career on April 9, 1968, a day he remembers fondly.
“I started out with my dad,” said Miles. “I had my two first haircuts that day.”
Now, Miles works with Jerry Steven Smith on West Knox Street off Court Square where not much has changed since his first days as a barber. The old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, surely resonates with this barber shop.
Most notably, Miles still uses the same pair of clippers today that he used in 1968 when he had his first two clients as a new barber.
“The pair of clippers I use now, I bought them April 9, 1968. They’ll be 50 years old. They’re the same clippers,” said Miles. “Years ago, we had a barber supplier truck come around every month or so. He told me that they sold three pair of Wahls for every pair of Andis [clippers]. I told him a pair of Andis will wear out three pairs of Wahls. I’ve had them for 50 years next month.”
Miles also still uses the same chairs that were in his father’s shop and until a couple years ago when he had to change systems, used the same sterilizer.
Miles said his favorite part about being a barber is the people who come through his door, noting “you get to do a lot of talking [and] meet a lot of people.”
Miles hopes to keep the barber business alive in the family for years to come, too.
“Hopefully my granddaughter starts barber college this summer. She says she will,” said Miles.
John’s Ever-Ready Barber Shop is located on West Knox Street behind the courthouse. To make an appointment, call 545-3945 or search for them on Facebook at Johns Ever-Ready Barber Shop.