CHUCK MILLER RECALLS WORKING WITH MACK
Chuck Miller Recalls Working with Mack
I am the middle son of Rogene and Mack Miller. My dad was a barber in Seymour for 52 years. He slowly got into the business as a high school student hauling hot water for Saturday night shaves. He worked as an apprentice for the barbershop he was hauling water for several years, then he purchased a business on Main Street from Al Wussow and started Mac’s Barbershop. I graduated from barber school in June of 1965 and I worked full time with him until 1973 and then I got a different job. I worked with him part time until his retirement. Prior to my working with him he had several other barbers in apprenticeship and journeyman programs.
His shop was located on Main Street next to where the present day Krabbe Reader is. When the First National Bank , which was located in the bottom floor of the Hittner Building had to relocate, they brought up property on Main Street. They brought out the barbershop and relocated us behind the Hittner Building in the old Huettl’s office building until a small building behind the clinic could be remodeled for us. At that time he changed the name of the shop to the Silver Dollar Barbershop.
We were located there until his retirement. When I started cutting hair with him, haircuts cost $1.25 and shaves were a dollar. We averaged 20 to 25 haircuts a day unless it was raining out, then we got busy because the farmers couldn’t get on the fields. The shop consisted of two chairs with Mac having the one by the door. His shop was a mini-museum and from time to time he had an aquarium where he had live snakes, a baby alligator, a horned toad, lizards and whatever else he could come up with. One time a pine snake laid eggs and with the heat coming in the front window, the eggs hatched and we had to get rid of a number of baby snakes.
He also collected coins and stamps. Because of his collecting, he worked with the boy scouts and helped a number of scouts earn merit badges. He was a veteran of the navy serving during World War II. He was a member of the American legion and a past commander. He belonged to another patriotic organization called the 40 et 8. He was a member of the Seymour Lions Club. In 1968 when Seymour had their centennial, he was the parade chairman and we had one of the biggest parades this area had ever seen. Because of that when we had the country’s bicentennial in 1976 he also was the parade chairman. In his shop, not everybody came in and got haircuts, it was a meeting place for people. He had the newspapers delivered daily. He had the Wall Street Journal delivered once a week and several businessmen would stop in to talk over the stock market, Al Storma used to stop in just about every day to see if there was any real estate he could list.
Eventually if there was a death in the area a memorial dealer would stop in and ask him who to contact for memorials. There were a lot of stories ---- One that caught my attention --- years ago the funeral homes weren’t trained in grooming people. As Mack was cutting hair a person’s muscles contracted causing him to sit up. I guess that was the last time he ever did that.