Siouxland Stories: Finding a new style in life

Siouxland Stories

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A lot has changed over the last 50 years, from our politics to our technology and even our hairstyles.

There’s one Siouxland couple who’s been working through it all at the same barbershop. But they say it’s finally time to hang it up.

“They’ve been cutting hair longer than I’ve been alive, so,” said Mark Harris, the eldest son of Ron and Donna Harris, who’ve been cutting hair at the Morningside Barber and Beauty Shop for half a century.

The couple opened the shop in 1964. Now, in 2021, their final customer, Dr. Harry Robison, was also their first customer years ago.

“He did a good job, didn’t have to go anywhere else,” said Robison. “I’ve appreciated both Ron and Donna on their work. They’re good hair people, convenient, dependable, friendly, good place to come to. He knows my neighbors, so we talk about them.”

Besides all the haircuts, Ron Harris said he’s walking away from the chair with more memories than he can count.

“It’s unbelievable the stories we’ve heard of people over the years. My God, it’s like you’re a bartender,” said Harris. “You listen, you stand there, you look at them thinking, you’re telling me all this crap I don’t need to know. It’s unbelievable!”

Not even a pandemic could stop Siouxlanders from supporting this longstanding business.

“But with them just having a stronghold in the community, everybody was waiting to come back and get an actual hair cut again,” said Harris.

The barbershop has been a family affair. The couple’s sons, David and Mark, practically grew up in the there.

“Growing up around the shop we used to go down to the fountain shop down the road and bug mom and dad for money,” said David Harris. “We’ve been to McDonald’s across the street, get money from them to go there, too.”

Having a front row seat to watching their parents’ business flourish, the key they say goes beyond their skill as stylists.

“Personalities of both of them. They’re both easy going people. Hopefully that rubbed off on my brother an I.” said Mark Harris. “I think the relationships they’ve built over the years really helped form the longevity of the business.”

The sons tell me they’ve also figured out the key to their parent’s success, both living and working together, day in and day out.

“I think a lot of it is my dad doing what he’s told, and my mom putting up with my dad so,” said David Harris. “That’s a big part of it.”

Donna agrees.

“I don’t know. I guess we must be different, we don’t have a problem working together,” said Donna. “As he said, he always listens to what I say, and I handle the checkbook.”

So what does Ron think?

“It’s been wonderful, honest to God. Qe have friends who say, ‘how in the world could you stand each other and be around each other, and live together?’ No big deal, just works wonderful,” said Ron.

The Harris’ reflected upon what they will miss the most about having a barbershop.

“People, I think.” said “You get in their lives, it’s a lot.”

But it’s happy tears, too. They said what they are looking forward to in retirement.

“Not getting up at six o’clock in the morning.”

If you’ve been one of their loyal customers, do not worry. The storefront is remaining a salon, just with a new face and a new name.

“The new Salon is going to be Rustin Roots Salon,” said JaeCee Kamm, the new owner of the storefront. “There will be some pictures up front dedicated to them so when you come in, there will be a nice picture thanking them for their 52 years of service.”

While the work for the Harris duo is winding down, things are just beginning for Kamm, living up the the legacy behind.

“To fill the shoes, to fill their big shoes that they’re leaving behind so I hope I can live up to that,” said Kamm. “It’s crazy to talk to people that have been coming here longer than I’ve been alive. But it’s great to see their loyalty throughout the years. So I’m excited to have that too.”

“It’s been fun. But it’s time for the fun to be over. Now it’s her turn, it really is,” said Ron Harris.


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