Kramer's Barber Shop

Your old-time barber shop in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

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About me

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

I can not point to any one reason why I decided to begin a new career at the age of 55. There were several! Over the past thirty-five years I had worked as a electronics repair technician for the US Army. It was a good job and I enjoyed the work and the people around me. You can't ask for much more than that.

I , too, was fortunate that I started to work under the old Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). So after 35 years and at the age of 55 I qualified for retirement. Although I was looking forward to retiring, I felt I was still young and healthy and that, perhaps, I still had something left to offer. What exactly, I wasn't sure. So I began to search some possibilities and then consider the options. Whatever it was, I honestly hoped that I would be my own boss. Whether I failed or succeeded didn't matter, I just wanted to call my own shots.

At one time I thought about possibly working at the county historical society. I like doing research and history was always a favorite subject of mine. Perhaps someday I can do that too, if only on a limited basis. At this point I remembered how much I enjoyed the stories passed on to me by friends and relatives. These stories aren't written down but they are important just the same.

I then remembered that many people told me they were once customers of my Uncle Sam, who ran a barber shop for years in our village until a hand injury forced him to pursue another trade. They spoke fondly of him and of the times they spent in his shop. It was then I knew what I wanted to do. There aren't many traditional barber shops left in the area and just maybe with a little luck, I could discover a talent I never thought I had. That was it!

I began a search for a barber school. There aren't many left but I found one in Camp Hill, PA. It's run by a gentleman from the coal region named Greg Mekulsky, who was born and raised in Kulpmont. Nine months and 1250 hours later I graduated from the Barber Styling Institute. In December 2006 I passed both phases of the state board exam and on Christmas Eve 2006 I received my barber license. I opened for business on February 1, 2007.

I know I will never get rich cutting hair. But I do know that the barber business is like no other. After my first few weeks on the job, I already have a ton a stories and some of the best clients a barber could ever wish for. I'm happy to be working again and I'm really happy to be a barber. They say I give a pretty good hair cut, too. That alone has made it all worth while.

- Ron Kramer, owner of Kramer's Barber Shop, Primrose

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