When Jay Forry was growing up on a farm, his father advised him not to follow in his footsteps. Inconsistent prices for crops make farming an unstable venture.
“My dad said, ‘You’d be better off going for a trade,’” Forry said on Friday, Sept. 29, his second-to-last day of 59 years working as a barber.
In 1959, he went to barber school in Harrisburg. He then worked at a shop in Middletown, but when the owner realized customers were waiting for Forry rather than the owner, his services were no longer needed. For six months he worked in Lancaster, then worked for a downtown Elizabethtown shop for seven years.
“After seven years, I decided to go out on my own,” Forry said, so he opened a shop at the corner of a grocery store. After that, he moved to a shop on Maytown Road right outside the borough limits, where he operated for 30 years. After that, he moved his Sta Trim Styling Salon to his home at the corner of Ridge Road and Greentree Road in Mount Joy Township in 2000.
The year 2000 was also when he got prostate cancer, but he managed to recover from that.
“I thank the good man above for that,” Forry said.
Forry was continuing to start work at 5:30 a.m. and work until 7 p.m. until his retirement.
“I love my customers and I love making them happy,” Forry said, but he said his body was telling him it was time to stop.
That means customers will need to go someplace else. Longtime customer Warren Pennypacker said he wasn’t sure what he will do next time he needs a haircut.
“My wife goes to some place in Lancaster. I don’t know where she goes. … I’ll probably go where my wife goes,” Pennypacker said.