NH barber recalls day he cut George H.W. Bush’s hair in Kennebunkport

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (WHDH) - A local barber is sharing his story of a presidential haircut.

Years ago, a New Hampshire man had President George H.W. Bush sitting in his chair.

Now he’s talking about this memorable moment.

“It is one of the best moments of my life,” said Patrick Lavoie.

Lavoie has had a lot of people sit in his chair.

But it was the man who came through the doors of a Kennebunkport barber shop in August 2007 that changed his life.

“I had sweat going down the back of the spine,” he recalled. “I was really nervous, but it was great and changed everything in my life.”

It all started that summer for the then 28-year-old, fairly inexperienced barber. While opening up shop for that day, Jeb Bush just happened to walk in

“We talked about how in the future I would love to tell my grandchildren that I cut a former president’s hair. He said you should write my dad a letter gave me the address, and I wrote him a hand-written because I heard he liked handwritten letters and told him I would love to be of service to him.”

Lavoie says he wrote the letter but was not expecting anything to come of it until he received a phone call Aug. 8.

“His assistant called and said can we get president Bush in and I am freaking out,” he said.

An hour later, he was cutting the former President George H.W. Bush’s hair.

“He talked about baseball and fishing and those are two subjects that I do not know anything about, really, so I did the best I could,” Lavoie said.

Lavoie’s father, who happened to be driving by, pulled over when he saw the dark-colored SUVs outside. He walked in to see his son, the 41st president, and a secret service agent just hanging out.

“He was trying to act cool and walks, ‘Oh, hey, Mr. President,’ and gets up shakes his hand, and those two gentlemen just talked between them like two guys in a barber shop,” Lavoie said.

Lavoie’s father took over the conversation and he was able to focus on giving the president a gentleman’s regular cut that back then took him about an hour, something that he says he does today in 15 minutes.

“Being a two-year barber, no one really gives you a shot, and then once the former president of the United States sits in your chair, it’s kind of the biggest celebrities ever, and if he is willing to give someone a shot other people are willing,” Lavoie said.

Lavoie says that day changed his career.

“(He was) just a gentleman, a class act, very welcoming, very generous, very easy-going guy. He lived a good life. If all of us could live a life like that we would pretty blessed,” Lavoie said.

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