Evalyn Anderson was 80 years old when she passed away just before Christmas.

Evalyn Anderson was 80 years old when she passed away just before Christmas.

In 2000, she joined a writing class, recording her memories. The titles of the stories reveal a bit about the time in which she lived: "Trains and the Mail," "Drive-In Movies," "Living in a Store" and "Goals and Dreams - I Made It!"

Copies of these, some of which include photographs, are in the Powell Liberty Historical Society library. Evalyn and her husband of 60 years, Andy, were important members of the Powell community. Andy was Liberty Township fire chief from 1978 to 1989.

"Tales from the Barber Shop" intrigued me, as Evalyn recalled a shop owned and operated by A.P. Askins, "better known as Pernal," she wrote. His was the only barber shop in Powell in the 1940s, and it was open only in the evenings. During World War II, Pernal was employed at the Columbus Curtiss-Wright plant, where airplane parts were made. She explained that he was simply in the barber shop "for an hour or two or until everyone went home." She did not recall if the shop even had a name. There was no barber pole, nor was there a sign. In the small village, everyone knew where the barber shop was, on the northwest corner of Olentangy and Liberty streets.

Askins continued to barber in the evening after the war. He also owned a coal yard and did plumbing and heating "or any chore that someone needed to have done." Often, the evening ended when friends dropped in to pass the time and the suggestion arose to move across the street to the Odd Fellows Lodge Hall to play cards.

Some of the customers Evalyn and Andy remembered were Roy Renwick and Pearl Bailey who she said "was there every night drinking his bottle of 7-Up and chewing his Bagpipe tobacco." She also remembers Bailey ambling down to her parents' store, Plummer's Trading Post, to get a paperback book to read.

Historical society member Sherry Carmichael remembers that her grandfather took her to Pernal for her first "professional" haircut in the early 1950s. She sat on a box as he gave her a "Buster Brown" cut. Marge Bennett recalls being placed on a board across the arms of the chair to receive her "Dutch Bob" cut as a youngster in the 1930s.

Today's Powell barbers have been in business for 12 to 25 years, and they all have their dedicated customers. I want to highlight the fact that two of them opened shops in buildings that have interesting histories.

Pat Petty opened Powell Hair Design in the old Powell School building on South Liberty Street in 1986.

The Ohio State Barber Board began licensing in 1934. and the state barber inspector told him he was the first licensed shop in Powell. The school was a private residence for about 50 years until John Bright, an insurance agent, remodeled the building. His office and an interior decorator were on the first floor, and the barber shop was upstairs.

When Petty found no suitable space in Powell to expand, he moved his business south a short distance just below the county line. His nephew, Jason Dow, joined him in 1992. Almost four years ago, the shop returned to Powell, on North Liberty Street.

Randy Savage opened his shop on West Olentangy Street 12 years ago. The Ohio State Barber Board told him another barber had been in his location, and he thought it was Pernal Askins. Historical society files, however, show that Harry Weinstock and Oliver Runyan had a barber shop at the site beginning about 1912.

The building also has held a wide variety of other businesses. The Powell Bank was located in the small white frame building just west of the "four corners" from 1880 to 1914. In the early 1900s, the high school held classes there for a small number of students. Claude Gardner had a print shop and confectionary store there at about 1910, and the building functioned as the U.S. Post Office from 1920 to 1971. It appears the building was used for more than one purpose at a time.

Don Whited opened his barber shop on South Liberty Street nearly 21 years ago. He smiled as he said there is "no history, but old age," referring to himself.

Carole Wilhelm is a member of the Powell-Liberty Historical Society.