Jamaica Plain barbershop owner retires after nearly 60 years

BOSTON (WHDH) - A local barber is hanging up his shears after cutting hair in his Jamaica Plain shop for nearly six decades.

Joe Monahan admits the transition to retirement is not easy for him, as he has been working with very little vacation time for 59 years.

“I’ve been working my rear end off all my life,” Monahan said. “I never had much vacation. I worked a lot. I had to.”

The shop has supported Monahan, his wife, and their nine children all that time.

“It’s going to be tough, leaving, very hard,” Monahan said.

Monahan’s customers said he is one of the best and his talents went way beyond his barber skills.

“It’s bittersweet, you know. Joe’s my therapist, Joe solves all my problems,” Michael Cashman said. “He’s a great friend.”

“He loves people in this neighborhood. He’d do anything for them, and we were blessed to have a person like Joe,” another customer, Joe O’Donnell said.

Some customers even see Monahan as a celebrity-like figure.

“Joe’s like the Mr. Rogers of haircutting,” Kevin O’Malley said. “He’s just a nice guy.”

Monahan’s customers are just as sad to see him go as he is to leave.

“I feel sad,” Wilfredo Martinez said. “I didn’t know he would retire.”

Monahan said his friendships with his customers are “not just an act.”

“They come from all over the place and I’ll tell you, I’m going to miss the hell out of them,” Monahan said. “I’m going to be weeping.”

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