EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) — The warm comfort, the easy charm and the relaxed conversation of the old-style corner barber shop still exists on the corner of Bickford and Hayes in El Reno.
Jack Parker’s chair hardly gets cold before someone like Dick Maxey comes in for a little trip-up, something he’s been doing since he was little.
“My dad had a deal with them,” he recalls. “I didn’t have to pay. My dad would just come by later.”
Jackie had just graduated from high school in 1958.
His father Tom was having trouble getting good help in his barbershop, so he asked his son what he thought about joining him.
“I thought Dad needed some good help and I needed a job,” Parker recalls. “So I went to barber college about a week after I graduated.”
It didn’t take much convincing.
Jackie grew up with the quiet harmony of barbershops.
He watched his dad interact with customers and grew to admire his compassionate heart.
“Everybody liked my dad,” says the younger Parker. “He was a kind man. He’d give you the shirt off his back.”
They worked together for several years until Jack went into the National Guard.
Tom came in as vacation relief in retirement right up to the end.
Parker figures, “He’s been gone 50 years.”
Jack bought this shop close to 40 years ago.
He’s been in business almost 62 years.
Two generations of Parkers combined to cut hair for more than a century when you add it up.
Father and son and a legacy that fits right in with the rhythms of a small town and of knowing some of the important things should never change.
“What did I learn from my dad? To treat people well,” says Jack.
Jack has two of his own children but fostered or sponsored more than 20 needy children over the course of his career.