Frank Mangiola of Carmi's barbershop has been cutting hair in Tiffin for 50 years.
He entered the business with his father, Carmi, after graduating from Calvert High School in 1959 and from Andrew Toledo Barber College April 30, 1960.
He started cutting hair June 6.
PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON
Frank Mangiola cuts Tom Snyder’s hair at Carmi’s Barbershop, where he has worked for 50 years.
"It's been 50 years this month," Magiola said.
"I thought about going in the service, but Dad always wanted me to be a barber and come and help him out," he said. "Actually, I got called to the service, but Dad had a heart attack and I got a deferment because of the business."
The 68-year-old isn't sure why he has continued all these years.
"It just happened," he said. "I'm so used to being around people and I like what I do and I'm still able to do it. I think I'll know when the time comes for me to quit.
"I'm not thinking about quitting yet, but I am taking more time off," he said. He and his wife, Judi, are doing some traveling and vacationing.
"I'm not going to go 72 years, that's for sure," Mangiola said.
His father, Carmi, who died in 1994, had worked as a barber for 72 years - 10 years before emigrating to the United States from Italy and the remaining 62 years in Tiffin..
"My grandfather made three trips from Italy - the last one in 1913," Mangiola said. His grandmother joined him in his new country in 1916.
"My grandfather used to have a bar and restaurant near the Monroe Hotel," he said. "When my dad came over here he had a little shop set up in the hotel."
He later set up shop in the location where Ralph's Joy of Living now stands. And in 1984, moved a few doors down to the current location, 47 N. Washington St. They moved a whole building onto a vacant lot.
For almost 14 years, Julie Black has been operating Carmi's Beauty Salon in conjunction with the barbershop.
Mangiola said a busy day for him is 25 customers and his average is 15-20.
He continued cutting hair for many of his father's customers. Although many of them are gone now, he still has a few.
One of them is Bill McCoy, who has been getting his hair cut by Frank - and his father before him - for at least 60 years.
"Since I was a little boy," McCoy said.
He rarely goes anywhere else.
"I went out to the mall one time when Frank was on vacation," he said.
Mangiola said he and other barbers in town cover for each other during vacations.
"We're all pretty good friends," he said.
Through the years, Mangiola has seen some changes in barbering.
Hair styles change, of course.
"When the economy went down a few years ago , everybody started to let their hair grow long," he said.
"That was way back."
He said many shops went out of business during the Great Depression, but his father was able to continue.
"My dad had a good business, so we made it pretty well," he said.
Some people puzzle him.
"Guys got hair and they cut their hair off and have their heads," he said. "I never did understand that."
For men who lost their hair, but didn't want to, Mangiola said he got into the hairpiece business for a while. He still does some of that work, but not as much as he used to.
"What I have mostly is people who come back and not so many new ones," he said.
Customer loyalty comes from good service, Mangiola said. He still gives some extra service some places no longer take time for.
"People like having their neck shaved," he said. "That's just part of the cut. It's just what we were taught."
And part of the draw is the camraderie of the people waiting their turn in the chair.
"I like Frank," said customer Tom Snyder. "He was just a couple years ahead of me in school."
And customer Darrell Whitmer was enjoying his wait.
"He's cut mine for a long time (35 years or so)," he said. "I always thought I was going to get me a free haircut," he said laughing. "He's a pretty good guy."