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Fort Fairfield Barber Retires;

New Owner Takes Over Shop


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, April 12, 2017


   Fort Fairfield barber, Jack O'Connor is retiring after 58 years in the business.  However, his shop on Main Street will remain open under new ownership.

   Jeremy  Bither  a 2001 graduate of Hodgdon High School has taken over Jack's Barber shop and reflecting on his service in the U.S. Navy will be changing the name to Brass Anchor Barber Shop.  “The sign's staying the same, I'm just changing the name on it,” said Bither.  “I like the sign.  I like the straight razor, I like the shears.  I like everything about that sign, it's a cool looking sign.”

   Bither served in the U.S. Navy from 2002-2008 on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy.  “I was in supply and a cook in the Navy.   I love the Navy.  That's where I learned to cut hair.” 

   He recently worked at Mill Creek Barber Shop in Portland where he was 28 years younger than the second-youngest barber there.  “I wanted to come back to the County.  I was talking with Jack and it seemed like a great opportunity to set up a barber shop when he retired.  “My family and I wanted to be in a small town, especially in Aroostook County with potato fields and loggers.  That's what I grew up with.  It's different in Southern Maine.  After spending some time there I decided I wanted to come back and be a country barber.”

    Bither is currently living in Monticello but looking for a house to rent in Fort Fairfield or the surrounding area.  “I want to be in Fort Fairfield.  I feel if I'm going to be a barber in Fort Fairfield I should actually live in Fort Fairfield. 

   Bither describes himself as a barber from the old school.  “I'm a traditional old-fashioned barber, I'm not a beautician.  I love being a barber especially when the dads and their sons come in.  I love those barber shop traditions and I try to stay true to that.” 

“Even though the trends have changed and styles have changed I think there's still a place for the traditional male barbering.”

   Outgoing barber, Jack O'Connor has been barbering in the County for 58 years, starting out as a barber at the former Loring Air Force Base in 1958.  He has also barbered in Caribou before setting up shop in Fort Fairfield.

   “I stayed in as long as I did because I love the job,” said O'Connor.  “I have guys coming in whose hair I've been cutting for 50 years.”

   “I never had hours.  I came in at six in the morning and stayed all day.  I never turned anybody down and didn't leave until I ran out of hair.

   O'Connor is getting done due to health reasons, but still plans on making some cameo appearances.       “I told my doctor when I come to Fort Fairfield and go in the barber shop if there's someone there who wants me to cut their hair, I'm doing it.”

   The Brass Anchor Barber shop will be open Tuesday-Friday, 8:30am -5:30pm.  Saturdays 8am-1:00pm.