Stepping through the backward access at Mike’s Beautician Boutique is like dispatch aback into accession era.
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The scents of atom balm and menthol aftershave hangs in the air. Straight-edge razors with intricately busy handles are affected and displayed on the walls, with covering acid strips in between.
Mike Shields, the buyer and namesake of the Greenwood shop, looks up from the chump he’s alive on. If he knows you — and afterwards 50 years of acid the aforementioned people’s hair, affairs are acceptable he does — he greets you by name. Alike if you’re new, you get a affable hello.
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“I aloof appetite it to be a affable adjacency place. An old-school beautician shop,” he said.
Shields is adulatory 50 years of acid beard in Greenwood this month. His boutique has been a mainstay in the old allotment of the city, application the aforementioned block of food on Meridian Street.
To admit a half-century of his Greenwood shop, he’s alms abatement haircuts, chargeless hot dogs on Saturdays and a adventitious to arouse while accepting a acceptable fade, trim or fizz cut.
To still be accomplishing this afterwards all this time is a different opportunity, Shields said.
“It’s adamantine to accept that it’s been 50 years. Activity aloof drops. It goes by fast,” he said. “My granddad acclimated to say, don’t bustle it up, it’ll go fast enough.”
Mike’s Beautician Boutique is the alone abode that Andy Smith has gone to get his beard cut. The Greenwood citizen started advancing to the boutique aback he was about 4 years old, and he hasn’t chock-full for the accomplished 40 years.
Smith came with his dad the aboriginal time. Both ancestor and son accept been advancing to the boutique anytime since.
“Besides my dad, he’s the alone guy who’s anytime cut my hair,” he said.
Floyd Moore has been advancing to the boutique for the accomplished four or bristles years. He lives aloof about the bend from Mike’s, and brand the amenable atmosphere in accession to Shields’ accomplishment with the clippers.
“I like the guy. He’s a acceptable guy,” Moore said. “He does a acceptable job.”
Shields keeps the boutique in aboriginal condition, with the floors swept and spotless. Three best beautician chairs are accumbent altogether in advanced of a set of mirrors. Magazines ample on the centermost table are consistently actuality straightened and put in place.
He chats with barter about their families, jobs and added capacity that he’s gleaned aback actuality his barber. Most of them, he remembers the exact hairstyle they prefer.
“You appetite the normal, sir?” he asks as they sit down.
Crystal Rice started alive at the boutique in April. Her ancestor had been accepting haircuts at Mike’s for added than 30 years, so she was accustomed with him.
But alike in that abbreviate time, she’s appear to acknowledge the atmosphere that Shields has cultivated, a activity of acquaintance that keeps bodies advancing aback year afterwards year.
“It’s basically an old-school beautician shop. Anybody is family. He treats anybody like they’re family,” she said.
The walls are bedeviled with memorabilia and mementos from Larry Bird’s career. A affected and autographed jersey is the centerpiece, belted by posters, photographs and autographed balls.
Shields grew up in French Lick, and went to the aforementioned aerial academy (Springs Valley) that Bird afterwards did. A box contains a photo of Bird arena for the Boston Celtics, army abutting to a allotment of amphitheater attic from Springs Valley.
“I consistently said I was the aboriginal ‘hick from French Lick,’” he said with a laugh.
Rivaling Bird’s abode of account in the boutique are collectibles anniversary Dale Earnhardt. Shields and his wife acclimated to own Thunder Alley Racing, so the boutique is arranged with archetypal cars, sunglasses, alike a gift six-pack of Sun Drop soda bottles with Earnhardt’s No. 3 car.
A alive Coke apparatus featuring a life-size photo of the racer is up adjoin the wall. Bodies generally stop in aloof to get one of the 50-cent sodas, Rice said.
Shields traces his alpha to Nov. 22, 1968. Afterwards admission from Springs Valley, he was attractive for a career.
“I didn’t apperceive what I was activity to do. Me and one of my classmates anticipation about activity to beautician school,” he said.
The enrolled in the Indiana Beautician College, a academy aforetime amid in city Indianapolis. Afterwards commutual the courses, he confused aback abreast his home in French Lick, alive in a baby boutique in Bedford. Business wasn’t great, and afterwards about three months, the buyer appropriate he ability acquisition accession job.
By chance, Shields ran into accession acquaintance from French Lick who was active in Franklin. His acquaintance assertive him to attending for a job in his area.
They were walking bottomward Jefferson Artery a few canicule afterwards accession in town. Out of the bend of his eye, Shields spotted a car that he recognized: a red and white 1957 DeSoto.
“I knew that car. Aback I was in beautician school, my adviser collection a red and white DeSoto. Lo and behold, he comes bottomward Jefferson Street,” he said. “I coiled him bottomward and he asked what I was accomplishing here, and I said I was attractive for a job.”
The adviser knew some barbers in a accepted boutique in city Franklin, and they absolved in calm allurement if they bare accession barber. That boutique did not, but Shields was acicular in the administration of Greenwood. Afterwards a few buzz calls, Shields had a job — and he’s been actuality anytime since.
“I came up here, and that was it,” he said. “What are the allowance that my adviser was active bottomward the street?”
Much of his activity has revolved about the shop. He met his approaching wife, Marsha, in the boutique in 1969. The boutique has survived two fires, one of which in 1990 larboard the architecture a burned-out shell.
But he’s backward put through it all.
Much has afflicted over the advance of 50 years. Aback he started, the amount of a crew was $2, or $2.25 for a flattop. Alike in 1991, the prices were alone $6 for a cut.
Now, a cut costs $12. But Shields is axis aback the clock, giving out $6 haircuts all month.
Shields has been in business a continued time, but he’s not in any bustle to put the clippers down.
“I’ll break until I can’t do it any more,” he said.
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