Ron’s Barber Shop Passes to Next Generation
Sep 28, 2017 06:00AM ● Published by Pamela Johnson
Ron Godfrey with young customer Aiden Padula
“Dad’s like the ‘mayor’ of Bellingham,” says the daughter of Ron Godfrey, who recently retired after 30 years of talking politics, dispensing advice, receiving gifts, and, wait for it, cutting hair.
Ron’s Barber Shop, in the center of town, is where this 75-year-old held forth. “Professional, cordial, fun to be with,” is how one reviewer on Yelp described Ron Godfrey.
“I want people to know that my dad won’t be here,” explains daughter Jill Godfrey, “but we will try very hard to keep the experience and the atmosphere the same.” No appointments and low prices will continue; more evening hours will be added as will opening on Mondays.
Jill started cutting hair 27 years ago in a small salon next door to her dad’s barber shop. She now owns and operates Sage Salon, a full-service salon in Franklin.
Over the years, Ron’s customers have brought to his shop all sorts of sports memorabilia (which are displayed on the walls), cards, photos, signs and a few Edible Arrangements. “Customers have been like family,” says Jill.
When he finally laid down the clippers on August 28, customers lined up to wish him well. Said one, “I don’t need a haircut; I just wanted to come by and wish you good luck in retirement.” Others showed up asking, “Did he really retire?”
Right out of high school, Ron began cutting hair in Islington, then went to work in Natick, and a short time later opened his own shop in Bellingham. Some of his customers have been with him for three decades; his very first customer kept coming back until the end. On some days, he would see as many as 35 customers.
From another reviewer on Yelp: “Five stars are not enough. This is more like a 10-star individual who gives you 10-star treatment.”
One story has Ron setting down his clippers in mid-cut to step outside to check out a new car another customer had recently purchased. “Dad did whatever he wanted,” says Jill, and that included closing the shop early on occasion. “He loves cars and sports.” (He did come back inside a short time later to finish the haircut.)
Ron’s wife, who worked as a receptionist for daughter Jill at Sage Salon in Franklin, retired on the same day he did. What’s next? “Rest, and then travel,” says Jill.
Ron’s Barber Shop is continuing under Jill’s watchful eye. “You go to work to make people feel better and happy.” And that is the plan going forward.