Local barber retires after 57 years
Richard Johnson of Imperial has been barbering for 57 years and has decided to hang up his scissors as of March 1.
Johnson attended barber school in Denver in 1961. Following his training, he apprenticed in Sterling, Colo. for 18 months before moving to Imperial.
In 1963, he realized his dream of having his own barber shop by purchasing a shop from Louie Landreth. He named it “Richard’s Barber Shop,” his daughter, Carol Kunnemann said.
Around 1997 the shop became known as “Barber’s Inn,” she said.
“Dad gave my son, Perry, his grandson, his first haircut and many more after that. It was so hard watching all those curls fall to the floor,” said Kunnemann.
Johnson said he has given many first haircuts during his 57 years.
“And watched lots of tears shed, too,” he continued.
“Over the years, the barber shop was a common hangout for the guys to ‘shoot the bull’,” said Johnson’s wife, Jean.
The “guys” were usually there for haircuts, but the camaraderie and social interaction was definitely a huge part of the shop’s atmosphere and history, said Johnson.
He also spent years repairing clocks, building items out of wood, including furniture and playing golf.
“I can’t do those things anymore because of back surgery and other health issues,” he said.
The Johnsons have three grown children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren with one on the way.
They still live out on the farm and raise cattle.
“Although, our grandson, Perry, takes care of the cattle now,” said Jean.
Johnson said he is so grateful for all his customers over the years.