Have a seatPublished 9:29am Thursday, September 20, 2012
New barbershop opens in Mapleview
The barbershop shave is not dead, men. Meet Larry Bushaw.
Bushaw, 62, of Austin, opened Mapleview Barber Shop on Sept. 4. While some things aren’t as popular as they used to be, they’re no less authentic.
“I think every man should experience a barber shave at least once in his life,” Bushaw said, who has been barbering since 2000. “You feel like a new man.”
Roger Reller — who years ago cut Bushaw’s hair — inspired Bushaw to follow through on his old idea to become a barber, even if it was later in life. Bushaw went through barber school at 50 and has now been helping men stay dapper for more than 12 years.
“I had wanted to be a barber out of high school,” Bushaw said, back when the barbershop scene was much more profound. However, his father’s advice got the best of him.
“There’s one on every corner, and they’re all starving,” Bushaw said his father told him.
Though Bushaw went to school for computers and worked years for IBM, he landed back in the profession he belongs.
“When you are loving doing your job, it seems like it is easier to do,” Bushaw said.
Barbering has become easy for Bushaw. He uses no clipper guards.
“I’m a barber; I don’t need a guide,” he said.
And like all barbers, he gets to know his clientele through in-depth conversations. More than the shave or the high and tight, conversation is the cornerstone of the barbershop industry. Bushaw lives for it.
“That’s the essence of a barbershop,” Bushaw said. “And that’s what I’d like to get back to.”
Bushaw can remember stories from working at other locations in Austin, like the one about “The Whistler,” Paul Hull.
“He told me that he once seeded some clouds in his airplane because there was a drought,” Bushaw said about Hull flying near Austin. “They didn’t have any rain, but they had a hell of a storm in Freeborn County.”
With four barbershops in town, which now includes Mapleview, Bushaw has yet to build up a new clientele base, and more stories like the one above. But he has the right tools to get there: the hot towels and hot shaving cream, the straight-edge and sharpening straps. His new shop at 2208 Fourth St. NW in Mapleview is completely remodeled. It boasts the pictures of the past, like cartoon 25-cent haircuts and 10-cent shaves, and books on the history of Austin. The barber chairs look rustic, even his new automatic-lift chair, which is the only one in Austin.
Bushaw takes pride in his work. Sometimes he even snaps before and after pictures of customers. People, no matter how scraggly and unkempt, can always clean up nicely with a good barber visit.
“If somebody comes in looking like Grizzly Adams, and they leave looking like 007, it’s kind of a neat feeling,” Bushaw said.