Barber hangs up his shears

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Don Smart, seen here cutting the hair of Frank Flores, is retiring Sunday after more than 40 years of cutting hair, most of that time in Pomona’s Sportsman’s Barber Shop at 628 E. Holt Ave. Read about him in my Sunday column.

Most of the shop had been stripped of furnishings in preparation for its close when I visited Thursday, but besides the battered 1960 barber chair at left, I saw a vintage sign giving the prices.

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  • Art Nila

    Don has cut my hair for 38 of the 40 years of my life. He was my sons first barber and many of the men in our family’s first barber also. We will miss Don, not for the great work that he has done for so many years, but the great conversations that we have had over so many haircuts.

    Thank you Don and may god bless you and your family,

    The Nila Clan

  • shirley wofford

    No barber pole? How can a barbershop not have one. When I was growing up, that was a significant icon on main street, along with the theater marquee.

    Considering that Holt is now a crime haven, compared to the way it was in the 50′s, Mr. Smart is, as you say, smart to be retiring. Congratulations and best wishes to him. Enjoy those grandkid ball games!

  • Steve Blaszcak

    Over the years that I’ve been seeing Don he’s had less and less of my hair to cut. I would have asked for a discount, but his prices were already rock bottom. On Thursday when I dropped in and Don said he was retiring I had him cut my comb over super short. I figure I need a lot of time to find a barber as good as Don Smart.

    It was a shock to walk in and see most of the old barber chairs gone. Don told me he took one of the barber chairs home. His wife was not impressed, especially seeing the built-in ash tray in the arm rest. Everyone smoked when those chairs were made.

    Don and his barber shop were one of the last connections to the Pomona I remember growing up. It was always great reminiscing with him about the Pomona that used to be. He and his barber shop were a constant in my life, a rock in the stream of time. He worked six days a week, without ever taking a vacation, for years and years. He was always there.

    Don deserves time with his grandkids. Also, he told me his wife has a long “honey do” list waiting for him. Good luck with that, Don, and I wish you a long, happy retirement.