When we here about Pittsburgh and it’s vibrant communities, the names Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, East Liberty, Mount Washington and Lawrenceville usually come to mind. They are communities known for great dining and as wonderful places to live.
Rarely do you hear about Homewood, except when there is trouble. Be it a shooting or some sort of crime, that’s about the only time you hear about Homewood. That is a shame because Homewood is just like Shadyside, East Liberty and the like in one respect … it is a community. It’s a place where people live, work and try to make their home a better place.
Case in point, I want to tell you about a place in Homewood which I have gone to every two weeks for more than a decade. Henderson’s Barber Shop is located on Frankstown Avenue in Homewood. It’s owned by the Hendersons, the father and son who have managed the place for years. It;s not large, only about four barber’s chairs, but it does get busy as the weekend draws near. There are waiting chairs and on the walls, ripped out pages from the local newspapers the after Barack Obama won the election.
Steve Henderson at Henderson’s Barber Shop. I have been going to the Homewood-based shop for ten years
It’s a place where old friends gather … and new friends are made. Often you see older gentlemen talking about life, the community, what’s in the news and the Steelers. I started going because frankly I needed a place to get a haircut and I didn’t know anyone in Murrysville ( where I lived at the time ) who knew how to cut my hair.
The son, Steve, always cuts my hair … and he takes his craft seriously. He knows my hair and anytime I want something different, he is always attentive and receptive. We’ll talk about sports while he cuts and I read the newspaper. It takes less then 20 minutes … and he’s done. The cut is very reasonable ( and ladies, listen up ) just $15.
I think Henderson’s represents what this community is all about. Hard-working people trying to provide a service necessary to the community. They have done this very quietly over the years, but their success has been recognized. On the wall, there is a picture of Steve shaking hands with Governor Ed Rendell outside the shop.
The best part of Henderson’s is that once you have been there, you become part of the fabric of this business … and the community. I did not know that until very recently. There is a billboard on the wall and, on it, are pinned local business cards as well pictures from the community as it looked in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. One day, I walked in and saw a newspaper story pinned to the board. It was a story from the Pittsburgh Courier … about my promotion.
I guess I had finally become part of the gang.