Barber Retires after 36 Years in Crockett
By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – After over 60 years of giving customers a variety of top-quality haircuts, Jack Mims – the former owner of the Town Square Barber Shop in Crockett – has decided to call it a day.
The longtime barber announced his retirement last month and on Monday, Nov. 30, a celebration in his honor was held at Mimsy’s Craft Barbecue.
Prior to the soiree, Mims sat down to discuss his career and what he plans to do now.
“I began cutting hair in about 1957. I started out in Houston, down on Telephone Road,” he said.
Asked what led him to the barber profession, Mims explained after he left the military in the mid-1950s, jobs were hard to come by “… and money was even harder! So, I went to barber school to get a little bit of money. I went on the G.I. Bill and that gave me about $200 a month.”
He said he cut hair in Houston from 1957 until 1969 and then got into the garbage business with a friend of his.
“We had a company called Supreme Waste Control and we ran this for a little over 10 years. We had a pretty good thing going on. We were working about 35 guys and we had nine trucks but then Waste Management came along and bought us out. Back then they offered us $300,000 which we thought was great and we sold it to them!” he recalled.
Following his tenure with Supreme Waste, Mims said he started doing backhoe construction work. That lasted until 1984 when he got divorced and moved to Crockett.
“I said I’m going to put a barber shop in on the square. I think it was a jewelry store before then but they left. I rented the building. I was pretty much ready to get out of it when this (COVID-19 pandemic) happened. The guy who owned the building was wanting to sell it and he came to me first and asked me if I wanted it. I told him I didn’t want it but he said he was still going to sell it. I told him the sooner, the better,” Mims laughed.
The owner of the building eventually sold it and when he did, the new owner said she wanted to keep the barber shop going.
“I said that’s super and why don’t you buy this equipment from me so I don’t have to take it someplace else. I told her I had a building right around the corner – and I do – and I told her if she didn’t want to buy the equipment, I was going to take it around the corner and pen up another shop. I told her if she bought the equipment, it was over and she said she would buy it,” Mims expressed.
In regard to the timing of his retirement, he chuckled and said, “I’m 83-years-old and I want to run the streets a little bit! I also have a sister up in Springfield, Missouri who lives in an assisted living facility and I would like to go up there and spend some time with her.”
As the conversation continued, Mims was asked how many first haircuts he may have given.
“Oh! I don’t know. It may be in the thousands. You take a baby like that right there,” he said as he gestured to a young child who had arrived with his parents, “and it’s a total nightmare! They’re scared of you for one thing, but I could usually get them to settle down after a little bit.”
Shortly after the conversation concluded, the mayor of Crockett, Dr. Ianthia Fisher honored Mims with an expression of the city’s appreciation.
“We wanted to acknowledge the contribution you made to the city of Crockett. The contribution that you have made – it’s such a personal business where you actually get to know people. No matter how long you do it, they only like the way you cut their hair. It’s hard to find a good barber and when you do, those people will return time-after-time and year-after-year. You build relationships, you meet a lot of people, learn a lot of things and care about what happens in the community.”
The mayor then presented Mims with a certificate of recognition which stated, “We hereby present Jack Mims with this certificate on behalf of all our citizens acknowledging your contribution to the city of Crockett.”
From all of us at The Messenger, congratulations on your retirement and we would like to wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.