Aaron Rush is going to do his best to bring an old culture to downtown Hannibal.
Back in the day, barbershops were a place to be. Men would come in and it didn't really matter if they needed a trim or not. The tight walls of the neighborhood barbershop offered a place to socialize, talk about the news or ballgames, and everything in between.
Rush is doing just that with his new shop along South Main Street just a couple doors down from the Hannibal Arts Council and right across the street from the movie theater. He's hoping Clippers-n-Cues becomes the new "place to be."
"All the old barbers are getting older, and no one my age is getting into it," Rush, 31, said. "It's always been a dream for the last seven, eight years. But now that the Skinners retired — that was (one of) our major barbershops in town — this was an opportunity where I had my license. I thought I better get into it before it's too late."
Rush has all the essentials one would expect a simple barbershop to have. There's a TV, a stereo and a pool table. Not to mention generic male chatter.
He's been cutting hair professionally for about seven years and has learned the tricks of the trade, but Rush isn't done yet. He's hoping to learn one more skill so he can offer full services. Within a year he said he hopes to start offering full shaving and the use of straight razor.
"It just makes haircuts look a lot cleaner. I have 40 more hours of actual practice with a straight razor left to do and then I need five hours of the history of shaving," Rush said. "I'm a fader, I like to fade hair and blend it. Real crisp lines and just clean. I like the short hair mainly to cut and that's my style."
His doors have only been open for three weeks and a grand opening is planned later this spring, but thus far it has been an experience.
"Scary," he said. "Am I gonna make it? I've had a lot of late nights and just long hours. I work five hours a day in the morning in a factory in Quincy. I polish metal during the morning and race here."
For now Clippers-n-Cues opens at 2 p.m. and there's a worry of losses during the time he's closed. Yet the satisfaction of giving a customer a nice clean cut is what makes it all worth it.
"I've seen a lot of people who get compliments on their haircut. It not only makes them feel good, but they come back and tell me, and that makes me feel good because I know I'm doing a good job," Rush said.