More To The Story with Staley – Bear’s Barber Shop

Dave introduces us to community icon, "Bear"

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – It’s a relatively small barber shop on Alton Park Boulevard here in Chattanooga. But there’s nothing “small” about the owner!

“Good morning, Bear’s Barber Shop…..”

That’s 74 year old Larry High answering the phone. But everybody knows him as “Bear.”

March is always an anniversary month for Bear. Bear High has been here a long time. A LONG time. Since the days when Richard Nixon was our President. The sign says it all: since March of 1970!

That’s 52 years of cutting hair at this location. Bear received his license back in 1967, so he’s actually been a barber for 55 years. But consider: he starting sniping and cutting hair when he was 12 years old. At 25 cents a head. All in all, we’re talking 62 years with scissors and razors in hand. And Bear’s never lost the mojo!!

“This was my first love. Cutting hair. And it still is. It’s just real good to see so many people everyday. I can’t sit at home without thinking about cutting hair. It’s been all my ilfe. I love what I’m doing.”

Bear says he had no idea he’d still have a hankering for barbering when he started out. But it’s the “client in the chair” that keeps him going. Not the money.

Back when he started out, all of his customers were African American. But now, Bear says it’s a mix of everybody!!

So is retirement coming soon? Not a chance kids. No way!!

“Four things that will kill a man and they all start with the letter “R.” Retirement, recliner, remote control and refrigerator. That’ll kill a man. I want no part of it.”

Bear’s history is rich. He’s hung out with the famous. Yes, that’s Oprah. His brother is legendary Brainerd head basketball coach Robert High. And his son, Tschombe High, is one of the best prep hoopers to ever come out of our area.
But Bear isn’t looking back. It’s full steam ahead. With passion!

Dave Staley, News 12 Now

Categories: Featured, Local News, More To The Story With Staley

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