Local Barber Shop Gives $1 Haircuts - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/18/04 - Tyler

Local Barber Shop Gives $1 Haircuts

Former U.S. Marine Ronnie Crouch has been getting his hair cut at the same barber shop since 1964, when he was 26 years old.

As he walked in the door and sat down in the barber chair, his barber, Rudy Viramontes, said to him: "You've been sitting on this chair for a long time."

"Oh, yeah," Crouch replied.

40 years later, only the barbers have changed.

"Mr. Crim, then a old boy named Roy, then Donald's brother Ronald, then Donald, now Rudy," Crouch said.

The name of the shop has changed with each barber. But today, Rudy's Barber Shop looks almost just like the original.

"When they walk in, I like them to see something from the past," Rudy said.

Almost everything dates back to the day Claude Crim opened shop, May 18, 1964, including the barber chair, the cabinets, and even the A/C unit. The waiting-area chairs actually come from Joy Theatre in downtown Tyler back in the 1950s. When the theatre shut down, the original owner, Crim, bought them. And they've been there ever since.

About the only thing that is modern-day is the TV and a new generation of customers.

"Different hairstyles," Rudy said. "But a lot of people still like the same old-fashioned hairstyle."

Rudy learned how to do the old-fashioned cuts from the previous owner, Donald McClain.

"He came to me one day and said, 'I want to be a barber,'" Donald said. "And I said, 'Yeah, right.'

But Rudy got into barber college and later became Donald's apprentice.

Today, Donald took us back in time.

"Back in those days, we did shaves with old straight razors and mud and brush and whip up that lather," Donald said. "We done mostly scissor job, working with comb and scissor and cutting hair. Jerri's hair tonic was a very popular style: 50 cents."

Today, the old-fashioned atmoshpere included old-fashioned prices: $1, like it was when the shop opened its doors. Tomorrow the price will be back to normal. And that's about the only thing that'll remind you it's 2004.

Rudy took over the barber shop two years ago. He says many of his customers have been getting their hair cut there since it opened 40 years ago. Rudy says he plans to cut hair for many more years to come.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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