Larry McCarty Recognized for Over 50 Years as Barber

By REX ZIMMERMAN

Ask Larry McCarty, and there’s nothing more satisfying than cutting hair and visiting with good friends and customers.

Larry was recognized last week by the Kansas Board of Barbering in Topeka for over 50 years of being a licensed barber. Nearly all of those years have been serving his customers in Kiowa.

The best part of the job, he said, are “all the good people” he comes into contact on a daily basis. As Kiowa’s only traditional barber shop, complete with an iconic rotating barber pole outside the door, he treasures his regular customers while noting the loss of some of his long time customers over the past few years.

Larry began cutting hair in 1962 after graduating from barber school in Wichita. He first took a job in Liberal, but after marrying his wife, Joyce, in June of that year moved to Hardtner and set up shop in the old hotel.

He began work in Kiowa in 1967 when he joined another local barber, John Myers, as his shop. He soon moved to his present location at 627 Main Street, where he has worked for the past 40 years.

Along with his barbering, Larry is a former city councilman and was a major force in the local Lions Club which helped support the upkeep of the Scout Hut as well as complete community projects such as the flag pole at Progress Park and the entrance sign and memorial brick walkway, also at the park.

Larry is always optimistic, which fits the barbering business perfectly. But he noted that there was a time that things weren’t going so well – that was during the popularity of the Beatles, when he said over half the barbers went out of business as the trend for long hair on men became popular.

Those trends have changed over the years, and he said business has come back over time. And the good news for his loyal customers is that he doesn’t plan to retire any time soon, although he might “slow down a bit”. That’s good news for those wanting their hair clipped while keeping up on the latest “news of the day”.