Adam Black, Editor
The Ashland Beacon
Whether it was a Nike Swoosh, a checkered pattern or even a Playboy Bunny logo, throughout Gary Cremeans barber career, he has seen it all.
After reaching 60 years of cutting hair Wednesday, the self-proclaimed “World Famous Barber” packed up his station one last time and celebrated his retirement Saturday with friends, family, and customers.
“I’m going to miss seeing my customers the most,” Cremeans said, as he celebrated with a cookout outside of his barbershop in Lloyd, Kentucky. “They have been so loyal to me, and I can’t put into words how much they mean to me.”
Starting at the age of 17, Cremeans followed in his father’s footsteps, spending time in his father’s shop, learning the tips and tricks of the trade. Once ready to set out on his own Cremeans went out to be a barber. During his time as a barber, he joined the Air Force, and Cremeans gave himself the name “World Famous Barber.” The title comes from traveling the world with the Air Force and giving haircuts to anyone who might need them all around the world.
“No matter where he would go, he would always pack his clippers,” Cremeans daughter Amanda Cremeans said. “He has barbered in more than 10 countries and on four different continents.”
Cremeans rewards every customer who sits in his chair patiently with a special treat.
“If they are good and sit in their chair patiently, he rewards them with a Dum Dum sucker,” Amanda said. “It doesn’t matter what age, everyone gets one.”
Throughout the celebration, customers came to share stories of the barber and share a few laughs.
“I was practicing on my cousin one time and nipped her ear,” Cremeans said, with a laugh. “After that, I promised her free haircuts for life, and she hasn’t paid since.”
Along with the stories shared, the event featured a performance by several children dressed as a barbershop quartet.
“It’s bittersweet for me,” Cremeans said. “The thing I’ll miss is interacting with them, hearing their stories, and telling a few of my own.”
Now that Cremeans is officially in retirement, he plans to move to Tennessee where his daughter and son live to spend more time with family.
“We plan to sell the house, the shop and about an acre of land and head down there,” Cremeans said. “I don’t really mind quitting the barbering, but I’m really going to miss the customers. I want to thank them for everything they have done for me, and it’s been a great run.”