Middle Tennessee played witness this week to a loss that hit a community hard. A longtime business is helping out and leading by example.
"You see multigenerational customers, great-grandfathers, grandfathers, fathers and sons," said barber and shop owner Ron Long, trimming a customer's hair.
It's had different names. It's been different places, but Doc's Barber Shop has been a part of Dickson for 90 years.
"It spruces the place up a bit," laughed Long, gesturing up to a boar head mounted on the wall wearing a hat and chomping down on a cigar. "It's nice to see those familiar faces that come in on a regular basis. Sometimes we get customers who just want to sit and catch up and not even want to get a haircut."
"You say you hit a grand slam?" Long asked a young customer in his chair. "Man, was that exciting or what?"
Long and fellow barber Nathan Cremeans said what's grown at the shop in all those years is a love of community and a respect for the civil servant.
"It's a tribute to my service as a medic," said Long, gesturing to a tattoo on his arm. "I was in an armored cavalry regiment."
Long's service brought about his kinship to a customer who often took a seat in his shop, Sgt. Daniel Baker of the Dickson County Sheriff's Department. Baker was shot and killed last Wednesday.
"He served in the Marine Corps," said Long. "I've been in the Army guard. That was a connection we had."
"It was real difficult news to hear since you know him, and he had a family and a young daughter," added Cremeans.
Long and Cremeans decided they'd help in the way they could. All the money made in the shop Wednesday is going to Sgt. Baker's family. Extra donations were pouring in.
"It's touched a lot of people around here," said Cremeans. "People around here are good and caring people."
"I think that's a good baseball playing haircut right there," said Long, a young customer leaping off the seat with a fresh cut.
"You want a sucker?" asked Cremeans, finishing a haircut for another young customer. "You're getting ice cream. That's right."
Long and Cremeans said a young generation was getting to see Wednesday how a community takes care of their own.
"It makes you feel proud," said Long. "It really does. It makes me feel proud. We're just being a strong community together."
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