Longtime Albany barber happy to return to work under Phase Two


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Phase Two means the return of many salons and barber shops.

It’s good news for a longtime barber in Albany, who had been in business for more than 50 years up until the pandemic. NEWS10 ABC was there as he made his return to his booth for the first time in months.

Harry Garelick’s passion for cutting hair began in the Navy.

“I didn’t belive in taking my clippers and running them up the side. That’s why they liked me. I didn’t scalp them.”

No scalping. But Harry always offered tight cuts in the city of Albany. It was a bug that bit him and didn’t let go for more than 50 years.

But then another bug crept up — the coronavirus — and shut down the shop on Central Avenue where Harry had been working.

It was a tough time for the 78-year old, who had always refused to lay down his shears and retire.

“When you are away from the people you like, I don’t mean that I don’t like my family, but after a while, you want to get back to reality,” said Harry.

And reality returned on Wednesday for Harry and others in his business with Phase Two, which allowed salons and barbershops to reopen.

Harry’s loyal customers, who have waited months for a trim, have returned to his shop, too.

But there are changes with new rules and protocols. The aprons are disposable. Chairs must be sanitized between sittings, and everyone must wear masks, including clients.

One thing that hasn’t changed: The chats and conversations.

But at 78 years of age, is Harry concerned for his own safety? He said he first checked with his doctor, who said he is in excellent health. Harry said he also made sure to get tested for COVID-19, and it came back negative.

“And I feel good.”

And Harry said the work is what’s kept him clipping along.

“Its good for the mind, and I can’t sit home and watch TV. I have to move, and my family understands that.”

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