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Stoops Barbershop

For a Perry County trim, the sky's his limit

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Of Our Perry County Bureau

Dave Gaskell had the day off yesterday, so he figured he'd get a haircut in Perry County and maybe head to a farmer's market in York to pick up a pie.

Pretty routine. Except for the fact that Gaskell lives in Cincinnati.

About once a month since he started working for US Airways in September, Gaskell flies about 500 miles, rents a car and gets a haircut at Stoops Barber Shop in New Bloomfield.

"Why not?" he says. "He gives a great haircut. I'm kind of particular about haircuts."

Gaskell, 54, a retired teacher, left Cincinnati around 6 a.m. yesterday. By 10 a.m. Donald Stoops Jr. was snipping away at Gaskell's gray locks.

Gaskell planned on hitting Delp's Country Kitchen in York, his wife's hometown, for the pie before his 3:45 p.m. flight home. If all things went as planned, he was to be home by 8.

As a US Airways employee, his flights are cheap -- he pays $80 a year for unlimited flights. So, he has become a regular at Stoops since he started as a ramp agent for the airline company in September.

Before then, Gaskell had to wait until trips to visit his wife's family for a haircut from Stoops.

Stoops' father, Donald Sr., cut Gaskell's hair when Gaskell was a cadet at Carson Long Military Institute in New Bloomfield.

It's still cut just the way he likes it. Military style.

"I have yet to find another place that cuts hair like I like it," Gaskell said.

Gaskell retired from a 30-year teaching career in June. He also served 17 years in the Army, National Guard and Reserves.

Gaskell said he believes his long flights for haircuts are no big deal. After all, he has flown to Orlando, Fla., and Seattle just for lunch.

To Stoops, who has been cutting hair since 1955 in a shop that has been there since 1899, Gaskell's trips aren't unusual.

Customers return from South Carolina and California to walk into a place that has been here for as long as they can remember, get a haircut and good conversation -- all for $5, he said.

Added Stoops, "You'd be surprised where people come from." DEB KINER: 582-2193 or dkiner@patriot-news.com

Copyright 2002 The Patriot-News. Used with permission.



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