Haircuts and memories part of Newport barbershop

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 09:13 PM.

It was those same customers and friends who helped Shirley with another collection.

"They decided I needed a hat collection, so I went along with it," he said. "They decided I needed a license tag collection, so I went along with it. And it just keeps growing and growing. If it wasn’t for these windows, I’d have a lot of space."

The hats hang from one corner to the other and across the ceiling. They’re from everywhere.

The license plates take up most of the back wall. They’re from Hawaii to Alaska, and California to New York. He has local ones too. There’s one from 1974 from Bath that says "Oldest Town in the State," and then the 1981 plate from Newport that proclaims "Town with Old Fashioned Courtesy."

Shirley walks the walk when it comes to Newport’s courtesy, honoring all of his oldest customers over the age of 90 with haircuts at no charge.

He greeted one of those old customers at the door last week.

Gardner Martin Kelley has been coming to Shirley for a haircut since he was 95.

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