You Know You’re From...Marshfield: Jerry Schalow

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 9:53 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - To survive in this hair-raising business, you need to be a cut above the competition.

”There aren’t many barbers left.”

Short cuts are encouraged and a shear personality helps.

”To keep your business you better be well liked.”

Jerry Schalow has been serving Marshfield since the Harry Truman administration.

“I started here in 1950 and I had the front chair,” Schalow said. “This is the only place, the front chair, in all my years of barbering.”

The family business started operations in 1936.

”Between my dad and three of us brothers that barbered, we have over 200 years of barbering between us.”

It didn’t take long for the Schalows to generate some buzz. And the client list has continued to grow.

“My dad first started coming here and I decided to try it out,” said Paul Peplinski, of Auburndale. “And I’ve been here ever since.”

“Neat guy to talk to and he does a good job on hair,” added Darrel Casperson.

“I enjoy coming here because I like the BS that we hear,” Jim Bach said with a laugh.

And to think, this wasn’t Jerry’s original career path.

”I worked at the shoe factory for 9 months right out of high school. My dad was glad I took up barbering because he wanted a son that was going to barber.”

He served 10 years in the National Guard from 1950-1960, and of course, cut hair on the base.

”I was at Camp McCoy for 5 years and Camp Ripley for 5 years,” he said.

High and tight then. A quick cut today. After 72 years in the business, same Jerry. Same barbershop.

“It’s got kind of a homey atmosphere,” said Casperson.

“Comfortable place to come, for sure,” LeeRoy Redetzke said.

“It was my dad’s building,” said Schalow. “What this was before he bought it was Swicky’s Used Car Lot.”

In all of his years of experience, he has two steadfast rules.

”You shouldn’t talk too much politics...politics or religion. Because people are what they are. You aren’t going to change them.”

While his schedule is lighter, working Monday through Wednesday, the soon-to-be 92 year old remains light on his feet.

”I stay active. And I guess that’s the best thing in life at any age,” Schalow added.

The personal interactions help keep him going. But Jerry knows, nothing lasts forever.

”Long as the lord gives me health to stand on my feet and do it, I’m going to stay doing it because I love barbering and I like people.”

He’ll tell you there’s no business, like shear-business.

”72 years of good living in this shop.”

Jerry says we’re all entitled to one bad habit. His? Well, if you don’t catch him at the barber shop, chances are you’ll see him at the casino in Nekoosa.

Copyright 2022 WSAW. All rights reserved.