OK, so I wouldn’t normally post a story about me, but something unusual happened at the barber shop last week, related to the Gearhart Knitting Machine Company…
I live in a small town in North Carolina called Wake Forest. It is about 30 miles north of Raleigh, and used to be the home of Wake Forest University before they moved to Winston-Salem back in 1951. Wake Forest has a main street, a railroad track, and is home to the Southeastern Bible Seminary which has a very pretty campus lined with huge Magnolia trees and large brick federal style buildings. A long time ago, the trains used to go through town every hour. But now days, they only have about two trains per day. I’ve only lived here two years, so I’m still finding things to do beside putting pennies on the track with my 3-year-old son and coming back Sunday morning with with him to to get smushed pennies and some coffee. I work in Research Triangle Park, which has the highest concentration of PhD’s in the world, so the modern world is not very far away at all.
My barber is an 90 year-old man who goes by the name G.H. He grew up in this town. He is a WW-II veteran and has been cutting hair since 1946. He is so good, he can do it in his sleep, which I think he sometime does. His shop is in an old wood and brick turn-of-the-century building right on Main Street. He’s got an old 1940’s coke machine, and he doesn’t turn on the lights on because that’s just not his way. With just a couple customers a day, he looses track of how much to charge, so he will just ask me what I’d like to pay, and I’ll give him $10.00 plus $1.00 tip, and he’ll give me back the dollar saying he doesn’t need it. But I know better. His haircuts are outstanding; the best I’ve ever had.
You can imagine the stacks of dusty magazines that have accumulated over the years. So, as I was waiting on the only other customer for the day, I came across a June/July 2002 issue of Country magazine. To my surprize, there was a Gearhart Knitting Machine pictured on one of the pages. I must say, it was pretty neat to see knitting machine history in a recent magazine, so I took the magazine home and scanned in the picture as shown above. The caption reads:
SEW SELF-RELIANT. “My uncle couldn’t walk, so he made socks (below right) that covered his knees when he crawled,” writes Theresa Buechner, New Ulm, Minn.