10 October 2006

Ron's Barber Pole

I've been wanting to write about this place for some time. Ron's Barber Pole, 6921 W. Higgins, is owned and operated by Ron. He's been cutting hair for a 21 years and has about 150 clients from around the neighborhood. He's a neighborhood icon.

Ron's Barber Styling Shop
6921 West Higgins Avenue
Chicago, IL (Illinois) 60656-2011
Phone: (773) 631-7317
DBA: Ron's Barber Pole
Arch-enemy: The Chicago White Sox and their Fans


The entire place is an homage to the Cubs. It is full of character and attitude. From the turn-of-the-century umpire's uniform to the 1945 newspaper article on the 13-5 routing of the Sox by the Cubs, the place screams throwback!

Ron is a die-hard fan and he's very vocal about what he likes and what he doesn't. One day when I was waiting for a haircut, a longtime client of Ron's - and also an avowed White Sox fan - walked in and was immediately harrassed for having the "audicity" to show his face in the place. The barbs went back and forth, Ron giving it to the Sox fan and the Sox fan putting down the Cubbies.

Ron: "Hey when's Pierzynski going into Rehab for his anger management issues? That doofus should just play baseball and not worry about getting his ass kicked by a Cubs player!"

Sox Fan: "Don't worry about Pierzynski - he's outbatting the entire Cubs starting lineup!"

I piped up and said, "That's why I come here Ron. It's for the abuse. The only other place I can abused like this is at home."

"Yea," he replied looking up at me,"but your wife won't hand you a beer when you walk in, like you get when you come here."

Ron is outspoken about his Cubbies. His biggest complaint about the team is the lack of management. He says their biggest problem is that they have no selection skills - they cannot recognize talent.

I asked him what's the biggest reason he hates the White Sox: "Ownership," was his reply.

"After seeing what they did to Bill Veeck - calling him a clown and then barring him from attending any White Sox games...that spoke volumes about what type of corporate, cold and bloodless philosophy governs the management and owners down there."

But the funniest thing Ron did early in the season was to "decorate" the small bathroom inside the shop into a makeshift "shrine" to the White Sox.


His anti-White Sox antics even got him a 5 minute spot on WGN's "in the morning" show.

To show you how great a guy he is, one day a friend of mine, who'd recently moved to the area, pulled up in front of Ron's, parked and walked towards the front door. As he approached the front door of the shop, my friend instinctively checked his wallet to see if he'd remembered to bring enough cash (an adult haircut is $13). He stopped, opened his wallet and saw that he didn't have enough. He turned around and started walking back to his car in order to go to an ATM.

Ron opened the front door of the shop and said, "Hey! What are you doing? You want a haircut?"

My friend stopped and said,"Yea but I don't have enough cash. I'll be right back."

Ron said,"Forget about it. Just get in here and you can pay me whenever."

Ron's place is a guaranteed laugh every time and it's no wonder that Ron has many neighborhood guys who just come by to have a cup of coffee, or a cold beer and share a story or two. It is just that kind of place.


Anonymous said...

Even though I,m a southsider and a diehard SOX fan, I will admit his bathroom decor is pretty funny. But on a serious note, Cubs fans should be more concerned about the management up there in Wrigleyville. Say what you want about Reinsdorf and Williams,but they brought this city something the majority of have never seen in our lifetime A WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP. My dad is a proud Cubs fan. I feel for him and all the other REAL baseball fans who root for the Cubs. YOU DESERVE BETTER. The Sox were lousier than the Cubs for a looong time so I feel your pain. But in a way,the fans are their own worst enemy. You guys support the franchise even though it's lousy. Even though the Cubs are the worst team in baseball they are also one of the most profitable. They might lose games,but they don't lose money. The Tribune Co.really has no incentive to make any drastic changes. It's a win/win situation from a bussiness point of view. The management of the Cubs really make me laugh when they threaten to move the Cubs if they don't get this or that request. The Cubs management may not be baseball savy but they ARE bussiness savy. Wrigleyville is the Cubs draw. Without the bars and resturaunts in the area Wrigley Feild would be nothing but a..(dare I say it?) Cominskey.(I'll NEVER call it US Cellular.) The point I'm getting at is as long as the Cubs can make money without making changes they will. Reinsdorf may be cutthroat,but he's a very good bussinessman. The difference between Sox and Cubs fans is we won't pay our hard earned money to watch our team lose game after game.(I can watch them on TV for free and see that.) Sox management knew that in order to make a profit they had to put a winning baseball team on the field. Now they're reaping the rewards. People like to point at this years team and say they didn't make the playoffs. My answer is they finished third in the TOUGHEST division in the leauge with 90 wins and only six games out of a division championship. Put the Sox in just about any other division, and they would probably sill be in the hunt. But realistically,I believe it's the Tigers year. All bad things come to a end eventually. The Cubs will win a series one day. And I'll cheer just as hard and as loud as I did when my beloved White Sox won it all. As long as they're not PLAYING my Sox.

leomemorial said...

Hey Rue,

I put this story on our police memorial, as we have a folder called The Coffee & Reading Room, and a link to your blog.

Fantastic story and well written.

From a Cubs fan ;)

Patrick Kissane said...

I'm going to borrow the pix of Ron's for a Facebook page to the shop. If you object, I'll take them down immediately.

Pb783 AT yahoo