Great Ball of Hair
By: Mike Shain
CHARLESTON, Mo. - Years ago a customer asked barber Henry Coffer to save the hair he swept up from his shop floor. The man, a farmer, spread it around his watermelon patch to keep coyotes out.
Henry kept saving the hair cuttings even after the farmer stopped raising melons. The hair collection grew daily, weekly, yearly until today. Ask Henry Coffer how much hair he's cut over the years and he points to a huge hairball that fills most of the bed of his pickup truck.
Henry's hairball weighs around 167 pounds. He'll get an official weight soon and submit it to the Guinness Book of World Records. He read about the world's largest ball of string, called Guinness and asked if they had a record for a ball of hair. No but they said they're interested. They've called back twice.
Henry is the only barber in Charleston. He started out 36 years ago charging $1 and now charges $10. Many of his customers have been with him for years and he has no plans to retire.
"I love people," he said. "and I like waiting to see who's the next person to walk through the door."
No appointments necessary. Call and he says "I'm here." Every customer adds to the giant hairball.
Someday soon, he'll haul the thing down to the grain elevator scales, weigh it and call Guinness. He's also published a book, "50 Years of Barber Shop Jokes."