By MIKE CORN
PLAINVILLE — If it’s a Saturday, it’s a good idea to call first before heading down to Stan’s Barbershop.
Stan Morin just might be off somewhere, taking in a grandchild's ball game or event. The rest of the week, you're sure to find him -- and others -- having a bit of coffee and talking about current events.
Stan's is the go-to place for haircuts and talk in Plainville.
Of course, that's no surprise considering how long his shop's been in downtown Plainville.
He opened the shop July 13, 1962, just a few days after he married Barbara, his bride of 50 years.
They'll be celebrating their 50th in early August, along with their four children and 11 grandchildren.
"I've been cutting hair since 1960," he said. And at 70 years old, he's not quite ready to put down the trimmers, scissors or straightedge razor.
Stan's is a veritable museum of barbering, with a smattering of other antiques and trains along for the ride.
Out front, near the antique barber chair, there's the Christmas train, a delight for children who come in for a haircut.
He's cut the hair of many children.
"Right now, I'm starting to cut the fourth generation," Morin said of some of his youngest customers.
But don't suggest giving a youngster a buzz haircut. He bristles at that suggestion.
"A little flat top on a boy is so much nicer than a buzz," he said.
But his customer base is getting older.
"I've got a big mix of people from young to old," Morin said. "It's getting to the point of more being old."
Some are longtime customers, including Don Johnson, who stopped in for a haircut, and to talk a bit about politics and, of course, the weather.
Along the way, Morin has amassed a collection of barbershop antiques, including a restored and still working 1906 barber pole.
He's restored antique barber chairs.
"I collect razors," he said "I've got over 400 of them. I collect just about anything barbering."
Of course, a straightedge razor is still in his repertoire, as is a leather belt used to sharpen it.
"That's a lost art," he said. "A lot of people don't do that."
Morin's clients come from a wide area, Hoxie, Ellis and Russell, the result of a decline in barbershops.
"It's not like it used to be in the '70s and '80s," he said.
Not everyone who stops by, however, needs a haircut.
"I have a lot of people in the morning come in and drink coffee and shoot the breeze," Morin said. "Everyone's got a different story."
But when he's gone, such as when he took 10 days off in June, people waited for his return and their haircut.
"I was swamped," he said of when he returned after his vacation.
Morin stays in the shop because he enjoys it, and he's not making any immediate plans to retire.
"As long as my health is good, I'm going to continue cutting hair," he said. "But someday I would like to talk to some man who would like to take it over."
He's not interested in shutting down the shop, but rather passing it on to another barber.
"But western Kansas, there's a lot of people who don't want to come here," he said. "You go west of Hays, western Kansas, you're in no-man's land. At least they think it is."