After 62 years, this barber's reason to retire will make you smile

Henry Jones closes the shop he opened 61 years ago and will spend more time with his beloved wife

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Henry Jones started cutting hair at the Commonwealth Barbershop in 1956.

"Don't put that on TV," he joked. Jones has a great sense of humor and an uncanny connection to his customers.

For sixty-one years, he's made his money at the same barber shop.

"Well, I'm 86 but my driver's license says I'm 87."

That's another story and probably classified information but the reason Jones is still working is no secret.

"I love talking to people and you learn something from everybody," the barber told NBC Charlotte. "I love talking to people and you learn something from everybody."

So why is Jones calling it a career after six decades, despite possessing skills that bring in plenty of business?

"My wife wants me to and I think it's time. If I'm ever going to retire, now's a good time to retire," said Jones.

Part of that is true, his wife is the love of his life, married for sixty-two years and she's looking forward to having him home.

"Might be a different story after I stay there four or five weeks," Jones jokes, again. He's full of them. Jokes and stories.

Perhaps the funniest joke is when a customer brings up NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick, and the pictures Jones has of her in his shop.

"I sure would like to be young again. Don't put that on TV, my wife will kill me!"

Sorry, Henry but that was too funny to leave out.

He'll be fine. Surviving is something Henry knows all about. He's done it before as an ammunition sergeant for the United States during the Korean War.

"Man, I drove 27 hours one time in Korea, hauling ammunition," said Jones. "27 hours!"

His mind is as sharp as the shears he uses to cut hair.

For people like Dennis Easterling, Jones might as well be the only barber to cut his hair.

Easterling was seven years old when he started going to Jones' barber shop.

"It's like seeing a neighbor, a friend. I'm going to miss him," said Easterling.

When he started cutting, "Haircuts was a $1, $1.25," said Jones. "Now I get $10."

But pretty soon his source of income will change.

"Go home, sit back and wait for the social security check," said the soon-to-be-retiree. It's not that he wants to retire. Jones has no choice.

A new Greenway is also forcing him to close down his shop for good. His last day is next Friday.

"The Greenway has put me out and my wife, this has tickled her to death," said Jones. Who added that he probably wouldn't retire if he wouldn't have sold his shop. Regardless, Jones says he and wife have far too much life to not take advantage of their free time.

"I don't feel 86. I ride a bike [ten speed], I exercise, I have a garden," said Jones. "One year I had three acres of cucumbers!"

He might be the happiest barber out there, probably the longest-tenured in Charlotte but that's about to change on Friday, July 28.

After that he says he and his wife will spend time at their beach house and travel to California and Las Vegas.

"Everybody has a story," said Jones.

And while the longest chapter might be over, he'll continue to write new stories and whether he owns a barber shop or not, he'll find a place to share them.

Editor's note: Jones is not taking any new customers

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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