After 80 years at the same location, Riverside Barber Shop was recently forced to close — a victim of imminent changes to the Saugatuck landscape.
Pat, the barber, relocated to Greg and Tony’s, on Post Road West. Before vacating the building, he donated the pole to the Westport Historical Society.
With a couple of days to go, however, the pole was vandalized. Pat paid to replace the glass.
But the shards were inside the works. One of Pat’s buddies agreed to fix it. Pat said he offered the Historical Society a working pole, and he planned to live up to his word.
“I don’t know what I like best about this story,” says the “06880” reader who passed it along. “The idiocy of vandalizing a barber pole, the loyalty and values that makes someone feel they owe a gift in the form they intended, or just the fact that an 80-year-old business continues. Not as happily as in their original space, but in a new shop, making new friends with the Greg and Tony owners, and finding their old clients.
“And, of course, wanting to make sure their mark on history is intact.”
In my 44 years living in Westport, the Riverside
Barbershop was the only place that I went to have my hair cut. I will certainly miss it.
Talking school and sports with Santella father and son before, during and after my haircut was a big part of growing up in Saugatuck in the 1950s and 60s. Their shop may be gone but the memory lives.