Local man still employed as a barber at 89 years old
By Rachel Cook
In 1949, "Blossom" Ezell was 25 years old, and he had a problem. He had a decent job as a car auctioneer in Fayettville, but standing on a platform outdoors all day just wouldn't do when the weather decided to change for the winter. So he decided to make car selling his summer job, and go to barber school in the winter. He never sold another car.
Ezell got started that year in a barber school that he describes as the first in Nashville after World War II. "It was 90 percent vets," he says. Schooling was relatively quick, and he graduated in June, although in those days you had to serve one year as an apprentice barber before you were considered the real thing.
Was barbering difficult? Ezell couldn't say.
"It just grows on you," he insists. "It just happens."
His career officially began when he started barbering in Fayettville, though that only lasted a month before he came to Lewisburg. Here, Ezell worked with Frank Epperson and Ross Green, barbering in the basement of the First National Bank. He estimates that he worked there around eight months; after that, he moved to a location on Heil Quaker Avenue and worked weekends there.
Not too long after, Ezell married his wife Anne and went to work in his father-in-law's Cornersville barber shop. This was his second-longest period of work in one location; he was happily employed there for 20 years. Then, in 1971, he and his wife decided to buy the Fox Motel, on West Commerce Street here in Lewisburg. Anne set up a beauty shop and he had a barber shop, right in the same building. They ran the place with great success for 18 years.
Around 1989, Ezell decided to retire, which he managed to do for three months.
"It's for the birds," he exclaimed.
When he couldn't stand retirement any longer, he came to his present employment at Dalton Barber on 3rd Avenue North, and he's been working Mondays and Tuesdays there ever since. That's at least 25 years in the same spot, and Robert Dalton has been working with him the whole time. (Dalton thinks this article is important because, "Blossom is the only person living that remembers live dinosaurs. Remarks like that form the foundation of their acquaintance.)
Ezell considers himself extremely lucky, commenting that, "Barbers have the best job in the world. You meet your friends, visit and talk with them every day, and get paid for it."
While he'll turn 90 this September, he has no plan to let that stop him.
"When I get to where I can't cut hair," he says, "I'll probably be here sittin'."