Coming home also meant getting back into an appreciated trade for Lewis Brooks.
About three months ago, Lewis “Lew” and Amy Brooks bought a house just south of Carthage. On Aug. 6, Lew re-opened the oh-so-familiar barbershop on the southeast side of the Square.
His cousin, Alvin Overton, started his barber career at that same shop around 1954. Back then, it was Jim’s (Jim McClellan), and now Lew hopes to restore the shop to its original look. In honor of his cousin’s 60 years of barbering service, the chair that has been out of commission for about 15 years is back.
“It’s like coming home,” Lew said on Friday, which was his 70th birthday. “I’d just like to tell everyone I’m back and welcome.”
Lew was born at McCune-Brooks Hospital, graduated with the Carthage High School Class of 1961. The next year, Lew met Lois and that following year they were married. Right out of high school he joined the U.S. Air Force and served until 1965. Lew and Lois enjoyed 39 years of marriage until she passed away in 2002.
In 1968, Lew graduated from Moler Barber College in Kansas City and then rejoined the military life in 1973 in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
In 1977, he left his hometown. He has lived in California and Florida and has been married to Amy for eight years. After 30 years of civil service as an aircraft mechanic, he retired out of the Air Force.
But he’s not the “retired” type.
“I was tired of sitting around,” he said with a smile. “I hope to give many years of service.”
The barbering profession is one Lew said he takes pride in.
“Personal satisfaction,” he said. “One of the best things about barbering is the shave. I love giving shaves, and I do the old style, hot lather shaves. Young people should experience it one time or another.”
Lew’s is open Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The shop can be found on Facebook.
No appointments; just come in and sit down.