As a young kid growing up in Kissimmee, I used to dread being dragged downtown to Sikes’ Barber Shop, located at 119 Broadway. I didn’t so much mind getting my hair cut as I did the fact that “Old Man Sikes” used to scare the bejesus out of me. Perhaps it was the gleam I saw or imagined in his eye while he would masterfully strop the straight razor he always used to “clean up around the edges”.
Today, in the same location, is Tony Touch and Geny’s Barber Shop. It was a bit surreal to walk back into that space after a span of 45 years or so. Gone are the ancient, red, bulky barber chairs. Though it was early in the day, I noted there was no stack of outdated newspapers nor row of seated old timers hanging out to catch up on the local gossip. Instead of terrifying Old Man Sikes, I found Geny opening up the shop. For the first time in my life, I stood inside those walls without any sense of unease. In fact, the place felt good and very friendly. I determined it might be fun to come back in a couple of weeks for my next haircut. In the few minutes it took to photograph Geny, I never saw a razor strop, so I think it’s probably safe.
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ARE YOU A DOWNTOWN KISSIMMEE BUSINESS OWNER?
As I continue this series, I want to “get inside” downtown Kissimmee. Are you a downtown business owner who would like to have faces from your Kissimmee business included in this project? If so, please fill out and submit the following Contact Form.