Longtime Carbondale barber to close shop

Longtime Carbondale barber to close shop

A Carbondale barber who has been cutting hair for nearly half a century will hang up his clippers on Friday.

Ron Benton has been a barber in Carbondale for 49 years, but today at 5 p.m. he will close up shop for good.

Not only is Benton retiring, but also the whole complex at 710 South Illinois Avenue will be torn down to make way for a multi-level apartment complex with retail stores on the ground floor.

Benton says he is glad to make way for progress, but it will be the first time in nearly seven decades that there has not been a Varsity Barber Shop with a Benton behind the scissors in downtown Carbondale.

"My dad started this barbershop in 1947," said Benton. "Down at the Varsity Complex. And, he moved here in 1965. And we have been here ever since. It has been a family business 68 years.

When Ron started as a barber in 1965, LBJ was president and gas cost .31 cents a gallon.

Back then, the Varsity Barber Shop charged $2.75 for a haircut.

Ron's prices did go up too much with the times at least for Friday. He will still charge $13 for a haircut.

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