Buddy's Barbershop

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

General Manager

Marion Earl "Buddy" Mobley sat quietly in the easy chair of his shop, flipping through pages of a newspaper.

A customer, who had left minutes before walked through the door again, this time to pay Mobley for his haircut.

"I've been in the barbering business 55 years and never been beat out of a haircut yet, Mobley said.

Later, a young man walked in, and asked Mobley if he knew how to do a fade.

"Yeah, I know how to do that, he responds.

From there, more than 50 years of barbering experience takes over at Buddy's Barbershop in Pleasureville.

Without the aid of a guide on his clippers - just a straight black comb - Mobley went to work.

Buddy's Barbershop has been open just a couple of weeks, but Mobley said he's already doing quite well. It's not Mobley's first venture as a barber in Pleasureville.

"I first opened in Pleasureville in 2003, April of 2003," he said. "I left under bad circumstances that I didn't have any control over. I thought I would come back and show the people that I thought a lot of them. And they in return have shown me they thought a lot of me."

Until Wednesday of last week, Mobley said business was hopping. And even Wednesday, he stayed fairly busy.

"I've been here eight days and just had excellent response," he said, noting that 57 folks came in to ask when he'd be opening while he was getting the shop ready for business.

His latest venture into the barbering business could be his last, as Mobley said he has no intentions of retiring again.

"I'm here more or less because I love my retirement, but want to retire in the barbershop," he said. "I love the people in the barbershop. I'm going to be here as long as the good Lord lets me. I'm never going to retire again. As long as the good lord gives me health, I'm going to be here."

Mobley became a barber after working in the press room of the Courier-Journal. He attended Tri-City Barber College in Louisville in 1947 when he and a coworker from the Courier-Journal decided to try something new.

"As a young man, I worked at the Courier-Journal in the pressroom for about three years, it was hard work in the pressroom ... and I thought, I don't want to do this the rest of my life," he said.

From there, Mobley opened his first shop in Okolona, where he barbered for 38 years. After divorcing in the mid-70s, Mobley left Bullitt County.

"I said, you know, I'm going to sell out in Bullitt County and start over in a place where I don't know a soul," he said. "I bought a small farm up here in about 1997."

When friends told Mobley there was a shop in Pleasureville for rent, he contacted the owner and rented the barbershop.

"I'd barbered for so many years, I missed it."

A haircut at Buddy's will run $8, and that's the only service he offers. A barbershop, he said, is vital to a small town.

"Having a place to get a hair cut is the most important thing for people, in their own area," he said. "I've heard people say I had to go to Cambellsburg, or Shelbyville, some go to Frankfort. It's important to have a barber work in the old neighborhood where you live. Thats what makes it a nice atmosphere."

Among the things he missed, were the people that come into a barbershop.

"That's the best part about it," he said. While one customer might come in to talk about cattle, the next will talk about fishing. "You have that all day long, so come 5 p.m., you don't realize the day is gone."

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