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A great man died today (1 Viewer)


My wife called me today to let me know that my barber died today. Joe was in his mid-80s and he was a Rhode Island institution. My father-in-law and brother-in-law have been going to see him for haircuts for over three decades. I’ve gone to him over the last 5 years and my 9 year old son had gone to him for the majority of his life. He was this small Italian man who people would show up over an hour before he opened to get in line to get their hair cut. Everyone who walked into his barbershop had known him for years and he knew so much about all his customer’s lives. He gave a great haircut but beyond that he was a throw back to a time gone by. He remembered every person who ever sat in his chair and had an amazing memory to recall intricate details about all his customer’s lives. He would serve Sambucca around the holidays and even though he was well into his 80s he worked long days five days a week. My family used to talk about when he died that his wake would be a madhouse of people and I guess now we will see that this Wednesday. I fully expect over a thousand people to be at his wake. The world has changed so much that someone like him will never come around again.

I didn’t just lose a barber today, I lost a friend. Someone that was four decades older than me but a man I admired so much for how he treated people and the impact he had on so many lives. Not really sure why I’m posting this but I feel like he deserves it. 

Goodbye Joe, while you were no more than 90 pounds soaking wet, you were a mountain of a man.

My previous dentist was like that.  Played in a band and a complete character..  People like that make everything better.

I hope you get the chance to say at the wake what you said here.  

Joe gave me my first haircut and almost every one since for the last forty years.  He was there for me during every life event I ever had.  Proms, Weddings, and funerals, he always had my back.  I had a job interview today and was excited to tell Joe and have him prep me up.  I went to see him yesterday morning as planned and that's where I got the news.  Joe is gone.  I live right near the shop and have watched people pull up to it all day today only to realize Joe is gone.  They all have the same look in their eyes, some have tears, and they all wander around the door for a while in a daze.  I still can't believe it. 

  Fifteen years ago I introduced Joe to the rolling garlic peeler at Thanksgiving. He would tell me thank you around the holidays evey year since. It's a stupid memory but one I'll never forget. Like most local barbers Joe knew everything about everyone in the neighborhood.  I would always get my local news and rumors from him.  That will also be missed.  

  I am rambling but I'm in borderline shock.  I can't put into words what a great man and friend Cranston has lost.  Junior G. did a nice job laying it out.

I was thinking about Joe today and remembered this thread. Surprised to see it's been almost five years since he passed. My mom passed less than a year later. I am happy Joe missed all the covid stuff, especially since he would have most definitely got it. I just booked an appointment with his replacement Tom. Nice guy, but in and out in 10-15 mins. I miss the hours spent with Joe and the four people waiting. Joe didn't do appointments.

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