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Grit: January 5, 1958 – Veteran Barber Operated Different Drive-In ShopGrit

“Downtown Barber Shop, Park Inside.”

That’s the legend inside an unusual barber shop at 241 William Street in downtown Williamsport — unusual for two reasons:

Customers can actually park their cars inside. (2) the barber is a man who retired two years ago after 50 years in the trade.

John Harvey Richey, 70, of 213 Chatham Street, was a barber in Muncy from 1907 to March 1957. Then he moved with his wife, Kathryn to St. Petersburg, Florida. Soon the peppy man got tired “of just sitting around.”

About the time Mr. Ritchey was tired of loafing, Charles W. Moore of RD. 2, Cogan Station, a Lycoming Hotel barber, who also runs the hotel parking garage at 241 William Street, was advertising for a barber to open a new shop in the garage building.

Mr. Ritchey’s son John, a barber in Harrisburg, saw the advertisement. He formerly worked as a barber at the Lycoming Hotel with Mr. Moore. John told Mr. Moore he believed his father would open the shop since he was anxious to go to work again.

Five months ago, Mr. Ritchey ended his retirement and opened the new shop for Mr. Moore. Since then, business has been steadily improving. Customers can park free in the garage part of the building, a service found in few other barber shops.

Mr. Ritchey runs the four-chair, TV equipped shop from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., when Mr. Moore arrives from the Lycoming Hotel to take over until 9 p.m.

The current price of $1 for a haircut and 70 cents for a shave are a bit higher than when Mr. Ritchey started out in Muncy in 1907.

“Back then, all we charged was 25 cents for a haircut and 15 cents for a shave,” he recalls.

A week from today Mr. and Mrs. Ritchey will observe their 50th anniversary with an open house at their home on Chatham Street. In addition to their son, they have six girls, all living, and 28 grandchildren.

Born in May 1887 at Liberty, Mr. Ritchey is in good health and looks 10 years younger than his actual age.