Sunday June 27, 2010

Community

 

The Final Cut

After 45-years he's laid down the scissors for the last time

 Craig Hill/Voice

 

                                

                                                                                                                                                     Photo by Chris Gadsden

Higginbottom cuts Chris Gadsden's grandson's hair Saturday making him the third generation to get their cropped at Bill's.

 

ill Higginbottom managed to get a few last cuts in before he made one of the most important cuts in his life   the cut into his retirement cake.

 

It was a sad day Saturday in Chilliwack if you were a client of Bill's Barbershop. If you were planning on getting your ears lowered, it's too late. Higginbottom's barbershop which has been a fixture for decades on Yale is closed.

 

Higginbottom has been at that location on Yale since 1965 has made many friends along the way. His quiet, polite mannerism made ensured he was loved.

 

Higginbottom has been spending time in Mexico with his wife whenever so we'll be seeing him on the beaches of Cancun.

                                                        

With our barber retiring there's bound to be quite a few more mopheads running around town.

 

Chris and Maxine Gadsden took their grandson Max to get a cut. According to Higginbottom, Chris is one of the last three people who were around when he first started in the business.

 

"He was my barber for the last 45-years," said Gadsden in a Facebook posting. "I got my first trimming (from Higginbottom) two days before we were married way back in 1965." and bill also cut my dad's hair.

 

 

 

Below is a story the Voice ran on Bill in October 2009.

Bill's Barbershop

Chilliwack has grown almost beyond recognition over the last 50 years but the one constant has been Bill's Barbershop on Yale.

Throughout history the barbershop has been a vertebrae in the backbone of every Main St. in every country. It has always been a spot to network with other gentlemen getting the latest news and "talk" in town and a place to share a few tales and some laughs all while getting a trim. A place like Moses' Salon in Barkerville where the men gathered prior going out on the town to dance Hurdies Girl's feet off saloon ceilings.

But when getting a cut in this day and age the feeling of history and nostalgia is somehow lost in cavernous rooms with 6 or 8 chairs, glitzy lights and trance music. Places that are convenient to use like at malls, but lacking in historical depth and a sense of community.

This is where Bill's Barbershop comes in. Forget the all the glam upscale beauty parlors and having to try to pronounce the word "coiffure". Forget the hair dryers and the smell of perms and picking a hair style from a book. Forget all of that and just remember what a good old fashioned haircut was and Bill's is steeped in nostalgia.

As soon as you walk into Bill's, you're taken back to a time 40 or 50-years ago. It's an old Kodak snapshot with. A moment caught in time with the chairs that date back 100-years, an old black & white TV and an even older cash register which looks like its from the late 1800's.

Higginbottom has clipped countless heads and generations of heads too.

Many of his customers just sit down and say nothing and Higginbottom he knows what the guy wants because he's cut his hair for the last 20 or 30-years.

"Give me the No. 4 will you Bill? No sideburns, shadowed at the back and maybe a little off these puppies," I say pointing to my eyebrows. He nods his head. "Okay the No. 4."

Higginbottom is a quiet, agreeable type of fellow as well as a good listener which makes him as friendly as a bartender.

Higginbottom watched the town grow up around him and with the exception of the facad, his store has pretty much remained the same. His shop should be declared a heritage site and remain as is. As it's always been. Testament to Chilliwack's history.

Every kid at one point should go down to Bill's Barbershop and peer though the window back in time to get a glimpse of what it was like for their Dad when he was a kid and getting his first haircut.

He's not going to be there forever and there will be many disappointed mopheads in Chilliwack when Higginbottom finally decides to lay down the scissors for good. His cuts at $10 remain the cheapest in town and tax is included in that price.

Bill Higginbottom at his shop October 2009