On March 4, 2020, Larry Riney, owner of the local barbershop just off the square, has been in the barbering business for sixty years this month. Larry stopped by the Memphis Democrat office to discuss a little bit about his experiences and how he was convinced to get into barbering. Larry was encouraged by his father, a farmer, and Lloyd Lancaster, whom Larry worked under at the West Side barbershop, which is now currently occupied by State Farm.
Larry attended barber school in Kansas City from September 1959 to March 1960 and then began an eighteen-month apprenticeship. At the time he began working for Lloyd, there were four barbers at Lloyd’s shop, along with two other barbershops in 1960 Memphis. After working under Lloyd Larry bought his own barbershop in 1964, where he has worked since.
When asked if he saw staying in business for so long as an accomplishment, he replied. Yes. “I’ve made a good living at it,” Riney said, as well as getting customers who might come from up to five-hundred miles away because there are not many barbers around. Some of the places his customers come include Kahoka, Lancaster, and Keosauqua. On what keeps him motivated to keep working after 60 years, “it’s my job, I’m supposed to be there. I suppose it’s because I’ve been there so long people depend on me to be there.”
Larry said he does not have any actual plans to celebrate his business’s 60th anniversary as he views it as another
Regarding retirement, Larry said he would at some point and is not sure when. He estimates he has done 330,000 haircuts over the course of his career, commenting that “that’s a lot of hair on the floor.”