The buzz at the Old Time Gahanna Barber Shop, 102 Granville St., is that Ron Eggleston and Dave Keim are celebrating 50 years of cutting hair this week.

The two men completed 1,800 hours of training at Andrew Barber College in Columbus in the 1960s. Each worked at other shops before going into business together at the shop Eggleston opened in Gahanna in 1995.

The two men were anticipating marking a half a century of cutting hair April 19.

Keim, 69, estimates he has given 300,000 haircuts in the past 50 years based on cutting 20 to 25 heads of hair in a day.

When the two started in the business, Eggleston said, the cost of a haircut was $2.25. Now the price is $13 at the Gahanna shop.

Eggleston, 72, said he learned to cut hair while he serving in the U.S. Navy before attending barber college.

He owned a shop in Reynoldsburg for about 20 years before he was given an offer he couldn't refuse and sold out.

The Pickerington resident then worked at the same shop as Keim before going back in business for himself.

Eggleston opened the Old Time Gahanna Barber Shop, with a 1920s atmosphere in 1995, and Keim joined him.

"There are great clientele here," he said. "You become friends."

Over the years, he has cut the hair of Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland and former Mayor Jim McGregor.

One of his consistent clients has been retired Franklin County Probate Juvenile Court Judge John Potts.

"He's a phenomenal guy," Eggleston said. "He cared about kids and didn't put up with nonsense. I also used to work on his cars on the side."

Keim said he also cut the hair of the late Sam Sheppard about a dozen times.

Sheppard was a Cleveland physician who was convicted of the killing and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Marilyn, in 1954. A retrial of the case found him not guilty in 1966. A movie, "The Fugitive," premiering in 1993, was inspired by the Sheppard case.

"I don't think he killed his wife," Keim said. "He lived here five or six years. He seemed like a super guy."

Keim said his mother got him into barbering.

"I was good at artwork," he said. "I striped cars. I didn't want to sit behind a desk to do paperwork."

He said he cut hair as the styles came and went, including the taper fade haircut, bowl cut, Mohawk, lightning bolt and flat top.

"I have a lot of regulars," said Keim, who has lived in Gahanna since 1954.

Eggleston said barbering has been a good ride, and he will continue as long as his health permits.

He thought he wanted to retire, selling Old Time Gahanna Barber Shop to Bryan Galbraith of Powell in 2004.

"I retired and decided 11 months later to go back to work," Eggleston said.

Galbraith said he worked as a surgical technologist for Ohio State University from 1992 to 1999, but he used to cut hair in his hometown of Scio in eastern Ohio.

The three barbers rotate when walk-in customers come in for business.

Paul Spanel, who lives near Easton, said everyone else was booked April 14, when he came in for a cut for the first time in Gahanna.

"Franchises are horrible," he said. "I'll be back."

Client Shane Eversole of Gahanna said the barbers at Old Time are good.

"I like the camaraderie," he said. "We talk about all kinds of things."

In addition to the strong interpersonal relationships, the shop itself has personality with a mural of a hot rod pulling into an old Mobiloil station. The artwork was painted in 1996 by Tim Coffman, who currently works for the Walt Disney Co. in Florida.

Eggleston is passionate about hot rods, having built some from scratch.

He's also responsible for other antiques in the shop, such a whiskey barrel, a 1916 barber chair, an antique pump that empties water into a metal bucket at his sink and an exterior working barber pole.

The shop is open for business from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla