Super Senior: Richard Gariboldi

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 12:20 PM EST
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From his barber's shop in Barre, Richard Gariboldi has seen the comings and goings for close to 50 years.

Gariboldi is a long-time barber at Off The Top Styling Shop in the Granite City, a business he shares with his son, Tom.

"I do a little bit more of the modern stuff," Tom said.

Their style in artwork couldn't be more opposite. Gariboldi is a traditionalist. Tom has a rebellious streak, with edgy artwork on the wall and in his multiple tattoos. "I'm not done, I've got a long way to go still," Tom said.

But the father and son duo shear in sync and have worked side by side together for decades.

"He's the one who made the shop look the way it is today," Gariboldi said. "Right here is our future customers."

Five-year-old Garrett Ross has been coming with his father a half a dozen times. "He's been an awesome kid," Tom said.

Together, it could be a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting -- minus one piece of wardrobe. "Years ago, when you had the white smock on, the kids just think you were at the doctors getting a shot," Gariboldi said.

But there is one tradition that's continues -- a post haircut tootsie pop treat.

The Beatles almost killed the business. The Fab Four ruled the early '60s with their mop tops. Later, the hippies let their hair down. Gariboldi adapted by going back to beautician school.

"And now they've gone back to regular haircuts -- high and tight," he said.

Not so much in the back room of the shop. That's where the third family member has her shop. Gariboldi's wife, Cheryl, works mostly with the coiffure clients. They've been married for 55 years.

"And the kids keep telling us, 'when are you going to retire?' Well, we both say, 'When He tells us," she said.

Rewind to when Gariboldi just turned 16 and started barber's school. His high school days were over because of missing so many days taking care of his sick mom. "She had cancer but it dragged on, dragged on. But it was one of those things you had to do," Gariboldi said.

"Can you imagine? What are 16 year-olds doing now," said Cheryl.

And while in the neighborhood...

Reporter Joe Carroll: Alright Richard, make me beautiful.

Richard Gariboldi: Ok, we got all day?

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do have any idea how many people's hair you've cut?

Richard Gariboldi: Oh jeez, I wouldn't even dare to guess.

After a quick trim with the shears he's done.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Wow.

Richard Gariboldi: I think it's perfect... You got the best haircut in town.

A job of a lifetime that's a cut above the rest.