(ROCKWALL, TX — May 8, 2020) Randy Monk is a friend of mine and been our family barber for several years. I manage his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/randysbarbershoprockwall/ as a token of appreciation. Tuesday through Saturday for the past three years, Randy Monk opens Randy’s Barber Shop bright and early, often to an eager patron or two already waiting. This Friday morning was a bit different.
The past 40 days have taken a severe toll on barbers and salons due to the forced temporary closures. Unfortunately for some, the closures became permanent. Our town couldn’t bear to see that happen to Randy.
A crowd of faithful customers gathered well before opening. White hair, dark hair, young hair, old hair, blonde hair, black hair, bushy hair, and hardly no hair at all came out to show their love and support to our barber and friend. Many customers have been coming to Randy “so he can mess up their hair” as a few lovingly put it, for many years. Randy has held a chair at different places around town before hanging his shingle on his own shop. When he did, his customers followed.
The former Magnolia Gas Station on the corner of Fannin and Washington (a.k.a The Old Bankhead Highway) has shared the intersection with the similarly aged old Methodist church and the Paul Snow Building for over 100 years. A section of the old Magnolia original red and white paint can still be seen on the backside of the building.
In order for barbers/salons to open, some guidelines from the Governor’s Office had to be followed. Customers required to wear masks and maintain social distancing mean that only two could sit inside plus one in the barber’s chair. The rest of us have the treat of sitting out in the cool breeze under the portico, relaxed, telling jokes, swapping stories, and talking a little politics. All a part of socializing many of us have missed dearly lately. That is part of the draw of an old time barbershop sometimes taken for granted.
Each time a new person walked up, they were met with friendly greetings and directed to sign the notepad. Every man came out with a smile on his face, clean cut, and both the ears he went in with… as far as we know. It’s first come, first serve, no appointments. Masks must be worn inside. Bring your own mask and a chair as it will surely get more crowded. The new social gathering place is the portico at Randy’s Barber Shop.
You are loved Randy Monk. Welcome back!
Written by Frank Richardson for publication in Blue Ribbon News. Frank has been a resident of Rockwall since 2002. Served/supporting Rockwall Senior Services/Meals on Wheels, Rockwall Kiwanis, BSA Packs 314, 528, Troops 83, 3121 and a member of Lakes Cities Community Church in Rowlett along with his wife of 20 years and their two children.
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