I was saddened to read and view an 11Alive News report by Keith Whitney about Atlanta’s iconic Silver Moon barbershop closing.
Some things in Atlanta, just seem like they always were and always should be there, like 5-Points, Piedmont Park or even the Big Chicken. On Auburn Avenue, the Silver Moon barbershop is definitely one of those things. The shop has been around forever and, because it is the quintessence of an old-school barbershop, it has been featured in print ads and was also a setting for one of the Falcon’s booster commercials last year.
As 11Alive reports, the Silver Moon barbershop had a great run.
At 108 years-old, it’s believed to be the oldest African-American barbershop in Atlanta.
Friday was its last day.
I probably shouldn’t have waited till the end of an era to come in for a shape-up. But like the countless thousands of others who sat in the window chair before me, I just had to stop by and say hello and farewell to Mr. John Harris, the able steward of the blade who captain’s that chair and has owned the Silver Moon for decades.
“This always seemed to me a relaxing job,” Harris said modestly. “After I got out of the army, I took up the trade.”
The shop still attracts a full house of loyal customers, who come as much for the conversation as they do for a trim. But Mr. Harris, at a spry 85, says it was just time to close up shop and finally retire.
“I really don’t think I’m going to miss too much of anything,” he said, as I tried to figure out if he was trying to convince me or himself. “I’ve really given all I have being down here every day for the years I’ve been here.”
Harris was here when Sweet Auburn still was. He’s seen a lot from the first chair and never missed a beat.
“I’m never tired. Even if I worked all day I don’t get tired, because you like what you’re doing.”
The Harris family are good people and Mr. Harris’ stabilizing and familiar presence will be missed, and so will his prices, even they were a throwback to simpler times.
Good luck, Mr. Harris in retirement. And to you and your family; wonderful new horizons.