Here’s a great story from my father-in-law… When he was a physician in West Virginia he knew a man by the name of Andy Boarman. Andy was a barber in Hedgesville and was known to be a fine banjo player and maker of banjos. Rumor had it that when big names in country and bluegrass would come through town, they’d call on Andy to come sit in and he would oblige. But when they asked him to come out on the road he turned them down every time in favor of staying close to his home, his barber shop and his workbench.
A tiny bit of sleuthing on the internet revealed all kinds of good stuff about Andy Boarman including the video above. According to the State of West Virginia, the barber shop that Andy owned in Hedgesville also acted as his instrument and repair shop. In a 1979 article for Goldenseal Andy said that running two stores from one shop required some explaining to the state health inspectors. On one occasion an inspector walked in to find the barber shop filled with musical instruments in various states of repair. Realizing that the owner had two businesses operating in one store he said, “I’ve found one guy in West Virginia who wants to work. Just keep it up.”
According to that story which was written by Peggy Jarvis and Dick Kimmel and later compiled in the book Mountains of Music: West Virginia Traditional Music from Goldenseal, Andy did finally hang up his scissors in 1974 and turned his barber shop into a full time music store.