New Berlin barber’s last day shared with first customer 57 years ago
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
Across the nation, we're saying good bye to the traditional way of cutting hair at barber shops.
Census data shows a near quarter percent decline in US barber shops over a ten-year period between 2002 and 2012.
Now a new berlin barber, Denny Nordike, who spent his life cutting hair, is closing up his own shop.
“He does a great job and you can't help but like the man,” said one customer of 15 years, Barry Austin.
The 75-year-old barber is described as caring and calm, with a sense of humor.
"So I decided to go to barber school,” Nordike said about his time after high school. “So that's what I did and I’ve been doing it ever since."
Nordike has cut hair for almost 57 years.
"He has health issues,” his daughter, Lisa White, said. “But yet, it hasn't really slowed him down. He just keeps going."
His daughter said she’s happy he has a passion and the strength to keep working, but it's time for her dad to throw in the clipper.
"He'd probably work, cause that's my dad,” Lisa said. “He'd probably work until the day he died."
It's what he loves, but as a husband and grandfather, Denny has decided to retire as of May 26, 2018, Saturday.
"Very loyal to his trade very loyal to his people, very loyal to his community” Barry said.
“He's going to be sorely missed and I truly, truly wish him well in his retirement."
There's one customer who sticks out from all others: Jerry Horn. Jerry was Denny’s very first haircut decades ago. They've been through a lot together, experiencing life moments, and aging alongside one another.
Jerry, now a longtime friend and supporter, gets the honor of being Denny’s last haircut, ever.
"People count on him,” Jerry said. “He deserves [retirement]; he's been doing this for a long time."
“Feels sad, because I’ve had so many good customers and everything you know, so it's a little sad, but we'll make it through,” Nordike said. “I've been very happy to have them come in; it's been very good. Thank you."
Denny has always helped with school donations and food drives.
He said even without his shop he's going to stay busy. For retirement, Nordike plans on traveling with his wife and family.