Coal Grove barber: Village nice place to live, work

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 12, 2004

COAL GROVE - There are things about a small town that you just don't find in big cities.

And those things are precisely what people like about Coal Grove: friendly people who know each other by their first names, a relaxed atmosphere and, on occasion, personal service.

"I like the people," barber Cathy Whitley said. "I've seen kids grow up in this chair. I've been here 19 years. It's a family shop. I did the first haircut for an eight-month-old. I've had whole families come in before."

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Whitley, who works at Advanced Barber and Styling on Marion Pike, will tell you that Coal Grove is a nice community with friendly people and she is happy to be a part of it. While there was a lull in customers Friday afternoon, she took a break and talked to a reporter and a photographer who didn't need a haircut, but were just there for a visit.

Owner Keith Williams opened the barber shop in 1984 and for a while he and his son worked there. Williams also owns a shop in New Boston. Now, it's just Cathy at the Coal Grove location - and the people who stop in to get a snip.

"We take walk-ins. I never know who's coming in every day. The other day I had every chair (in the waiting area) full with high school boys who came by after school. Some of them had their parents come and get them afterward."

Whitley said she and her customers cover the usual subjects of conversation: families, the weather.

"I try to stay away from politics but I'll talk about religion if the customers want me to," Whitley said. "I appreciate customers so much. So many of them I feel are family."