For the last 50 years, Scotty Woodward has been cutting the hair of Logan County’s fathers and sons. Generations upon generations he has served throughout his career as one of this community’s most well-known and most loved barbers.
Being a barber has not been a job for Woodward, but instead has become a part of who he is. Having the opportunity over the past five decades to meet so many wonderful people is something Woodward views as a privilege.
“It’s more than just cutting hair,” he says, adding that it’s making relationships that last a lifetime.
It all began in 1969, after Woodward graduated from Auburn High School. He said he always had a knack for being a barber, at least that’s what his uncle told him, who he used to shave all the time.
Woodward and a friend decided to go check out the barber school in Louisville one day. The friend left, but Woodward didn’t. He was 17 years old and packed his bags to go live with relatives so he could attend the Kentucky College of Barber. He said his parents weren’t really happy with the idea of him moving to the city at first, but he wanted to make a go of it.
Within months Woodward proved he did in fact have a knack for it, and graduated from barber school. His first job was for a man by the name of Paul Bransetter of Horse Cave. He only worked for him for a while and then decided to return home to Logan County. Woodward found a home with Hunt’s Barbershop, which was owned by another well-known, Pete Hunt. He worked for two years there before being drafted into the United States Army, which pulled him away from the comb and scissors professionally, as well as Logan County for a few years.
Woodward, who was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War, said he wasn’t a barber for the Army, but admits he did cut the hair of his buddies while serving.
When Woodward came home he went back to work at Hunt’s where he stayed for the next 27 years. In 1994, Woodward said it was time to start his own barbershop. He went out on his own and opened a place on Summer Street where he is today. He has one other barber working with him, Mike McGee, who has been side-by-side with Woodward for the past 12 years.
“God has blessed me with a good business,” said Woodward, adding he could not count how many people’s hair he has cut over the years, but knows it’s a lot.
Woodward said he knows most people’s faces and can do a pretty good job of remembering first names. While doing this interview, he recalled cutting my grandfather’s hair, telling me where he lived and remembering that he was a rabbit hunter. My grandfather died almost 30 years ago. Woodward can recall one family who he has cut six generations of their hair.
Woodward has seen a lot of changes throughout the years, from hair styles to the atmosphere of the shop itself. He said hair has gone from short to long, to back to short again. Men used to come to the barbershop to “hang” out, play checkers, talk about politics, sports and hunting and just get away from the wife once in awhile. Now, people don’t seem to have the time anymore to just sit a spell.
One thing hasn’t changed, however, and that is the camaraderie between barber and customer. Like a beautician, barbers are therapists on the side. They talk about life and other things. The only difference with a man is you gotta no when to talk and when not to. Woodward said he had one man who told him he liked coming to him because when he felt like talking it was okay and if he didn’t…well that was okay too.
Woodward just recently returned to work from a short time off. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in February of this year. It was hard, said Woodward, who had surgery to take a portion of his lung out. After several treatments to follow, Woodward was found cancer free.
“God has blessed me,” said a tearful Woodward. “I can’t tell you how many men have come into the shop after I got back that hugged me and said they were glad to see me. So many people put me on their prayer lists and that is why I am still here.”
Woodward works from Tuesday through Saturday half days. He says he is so glad to be back at what he loves to do, which is talk to people and do what he has been doing for most all of his life… making relationships that will last his lifetime.