Some things are just so much better when they aren’t chain or big box. The economic foundation of our country was built by businesses like Ruby’s Diner, Sam’s Electric and Charlie’s Tire and Radiator. There were no megas or marts on the signs out front. But, things change and growth happens.

One of the landmark hometown businesses in our community is Jim’s Barber Shop. Jim Tate started his career with Bill in Bill’s Barber Shop and opened his own business a few years later. Then Cathy joined Jim. The two of them have been cutting hair in the tiny, traditional, closed on Sunday and Monday barber shop for as long as I can remember.

Friendships are born, referrals made, information gathered and political and economic discussions heat up every day at Jim’s. Cathy and Jim have been cutting Jim Brawner’s hair even before we lived in the Branson area. So it was only fitting when Jason needed his first haircut that we took him to Jim’s.

Jim gave Jackson, Jason’s oldest son his first haircut too. So after a couple of folks thought baby Smith was a girl with his head full of white blond curls, Alison make the 100 mile round trip so Jim could be the first to cut his hair. A three generation tradition trumps convenience any day.

It was as if Smith knew something important was going on because more pictures were taken than man’s first step on the moon and he got three days worth of snacks to stay still. A boy’s first hair cut is a big day, more so for his mom than for him. It’s as if he crosses the threshold from baby into little boyhood. Who want to leave such a special event in the hands a chain or big box store?

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