This week the Herald talks to Don Creeman, owner of the Town and Country Barber Shop, 1819 S. Washington St., in Grand Forks.
Q: How did you get into the business of being a barber?
A: I needed a job after getting out of the Navy, and my mother-in-law suggested I be a barber. Her brother is also a barber and thought it would be a good opportunity in hopes that I would take over the business for him one day. I used to live in Chicago. I was a union concrete worker; we actually built White Sox Park so I was involved with that. But after that, I went in the Navy and I left Illinois via the navy. Then I met my wife, she’s from Minnesota and that’s how I got up here. I moved into Fisher for five years, then I bought a 10-acre farmstead and lived there for 14 years. I sold it, then came into Grand Forks on July 31. I have been here (in the region) for 20 years and I have owned the business for six of those years.
Q: How has the move to Grand Forks benefited your business?
A: It's too early to tell, but there has been a lot of buzz about it. My wife and I are excited and happy to be in Grand Forks. We like the convenience of how to get to places in town. I like Grand Forks and hope I will be successful here. People are glad for me not having to worry about driving in the winter weather.
Q: What can you tell us about your customers?
A: We have a large mix of customers that come and go, so it’s difficult to tell. We have military, college, K-12, seniors, transients and now we are getting female clients as well.
Q: How is it going working with your son, Jared?
A: Better than expected. It has been helpful for me to teach him how to cut hair and to understand the differences in the length of hair. He has done remarkably well, and I am very proud of him. People know now that (the shop) is mine, and, of course, I’ve been here by myself for six years. So now that (Jared) is here, people are starting to figure out that there are two of us here, and they are taking to him really well, which is nice.
Q: Speaking of working with your son, what can you say about the other barbers you have worked with?
A: It has been beneficial to me to have worked with different barbers who all have their own style and flair for cutting hair. I've worked with four barbers who, in total, have worked 233 years. That is a wealth of knowledge I have drawn from. I am grateful and pleased where we are and where we will go. The four barbers I have worked with are Ray Lein, Rynhart Hoffman, Ken Althoff and Leroy Peterson. I appreciate every one of them for what they have taught me. I’m going to be here for 20, maybe 30 more years. (Jared) is going to be here hopefully for 40 or 50. Come to a place where we can be friends. That’s what I tell my clients, I consider you a friend.