When Bob Arnold graduated from Fort Frye High School, his father told him he needed to pick up a trade and encouraged him to become either a brick layer or a barber.
Arnold picked the latter, and chose to attend Andrews Barber College in Columbus. He worked as a barber in Marietta for about two years before opening his own shop in Beverly in 1962. He has operated a shop in the village ever since, called Bob's Hair Center.
"It has changed a lot since I went to barber school in late (19)59," he said. "Everything was all flat tops back then."
ASHLEY RITTENHOUSE The Marietta Times
Koren Sears, 9, gets a haircut from his grandfather, Bob Sears, inside the Riverfront Barbershop on Front Street in Marietta.
Hairstyles aren't all that has changed for barbers over the years. As full-service salons have become more popular, barbershops have remained relevant, but they are no longer a place where a man goes to get his shoes shined, his face shaved and get the latest scoop on what's happening in town.
"Back in the days before appointments, people sat around and you talked more about different things. I work in a room by myself now, so I'm one-on-one with my customer," Arnold said. "When I first started cutting hair, it was a place you'd have four to five people sitting there all the time and you'd have the stories about who caught the bigger fish."
Arnold noted that he's a little different than the typical barber because he offers more than just haircuts.
History of barbers:
The word barber comes from the Latin word for beard, "barba."
Primitive men thought good and bad spirits entered the body through the hairs on a person's head and that the bad spirits could only be driven out by cutting the hair.
The barber became the most important man in the community in tribal days, not only cutting hair, but also arranging marriages and baptizing children.
The first school for barbers was established in 1893 by A.B. Moler, of Chicago.
"In the '70s when the long hair started, I took some advanced training. I started into perms, hair coloring and ladies cuts, as well as men's," he said. "In the later years, I moved into hair replacement."
Marietta resident Harry LeMaster has heard his share of stories in Arnold's shop over the 46 years he has gone there to get his hair cut.
"There would be maybe two to three people at a time in the barbershop - it seems there was always some kind of interaction," LeMaster said. "As time went by, it became a one person at a time kind of deal and appointments only."
LeMaster's son, Harry E. LeMaster II, who currently lives in Elgin, Ill. got his first haircut from Arnold at 18 months old. A week ago, he took his son, Harry A. LeMaster II to Arnold's shop so he, too, could get his first haircut from him.
"His hair was nearly shoulder length when we started out and when we got done, he had a nice little boy haircut," the eldest LeMaster said of his grandson, who he calls "Hal."
Hal's father, who goes by Ned, said Arnold cut his hair until he completed high school and it was important to him that Arnold give Hal his first haircut.
"I wanted to be able to say he cut three generations," said Ned. "It was just a fun experience to share with my father and son and somebody we've known that long."
Another little boy who got a haircut recently is Koren Sears, 9. His grandfather, Bob Sears, gave him the cut at Riverfront Barbershop on Front Street in Marietta.
Sears has been cutting hair since the 1970s, having received his training from the Ohio State Barber College in Columbus.
"Years ago, even when I was a youngster, every neighborhood had its own barber shop," he said. "The old fashioned barber shop was a place for guys to hang out and read the paper."
While there's no longer a barber shop in every neighborhood, Sears said he thinks barber shops remain popular in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
"Marietta has kept some of its older time heritage," he said.
Still, Sears has seen a fair number of changes over the years in the barbershop, including the elimination of the shoe shiner.
"Men wore leather shoes and while they were getting their hair cut, they'd get their shoes shined," he said.
He also said it's no longer common for men to get their faces shaved in the barbershop, because years ago health officials urged against it.
"We'll shave around the ears and the back of the neck, but facial shaves we don't do," Sears said. "That was one of the biggest things they taught us in barber school was how to do a proper facial shave."
Diana Parks, owner of Diana's Barber Shop, said neck dusters aren't used anymore, either, because they are considered unsanitary.
Parks has owned her own shop in Marietta since 1998. Her shop is currently located on Pike Street.
Although she does not offer perms, coloring or other services outside of haircuts, she said her clientele consists of a good mix of men, women and children.
"I think you're finding more women are going to barber shops," she said. "They're finding a barber can cut their hair just as well as a beautician can."
Parks said one thing that hasn't changed over the years is the fact that many men prefer to go to a barber.
"Anytime a man has hair, he's going to need a hair cut, and most men want a barbershop because that's where they feel most comfortable. They don't feel comfortable in a beauty shop," she said.