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Howard’s Barber Shop

Owner Desmond Taylor

By Joel Washburn
washburn@mckenziebanner.com
Posted 2/17/21

HUNTINGDON — Desmond Taylor is continuing a family tradition of barbering. From his 13340 Paris Street location, Taylor cuts men’s hair just as his late great-uncle, Harold Howard did. The name of the barber shop continues to bear the name of Mr. Howard.

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Howard’s Barber Shop

Owner Desmond Taylor

Posted

HUNTINGDON — Desmond Taylor is continuing a family tradition of barbering. From his 13340 Paris Street location, Taylor cuts men’s hair just as his late great-uncle, Harold Howard did. The name of the barber shop continues to bear the name of Mr. Howard.

In an interview with Taylor on Saturday, February 6, the 1994 graduate of Huntingdon High School tells of Mr. Harold Howard’s contribution to the town of Huntingdon, the county, and especially to youth. Howard was a World War II veteran and a teacher at the all-black Hale School prior to desegregation in the 1960s. His wife taught at MTA, an all-black school in Atwood. MTA stood for McLemoresville, Trezevant and Atwood, a consolidated school of Wingo, Trezevant and McLemoresville schools that served only blacks. Mr. Howard later taught at Hollow Rock-Bruceton and cut hair on the weekends at his in-home barber shop - adjacent to where Taylor cuts hair today.

“Most people thought he was my granddaddy,” said Taylor, because Mr. Howard was always there to support Taylor and his brother, Gerald. He also supported other students throughout the years.

In 1998, a new barber shop was built, where both Desmond and Mr. Howard cut hair.

Desmond was a Huntingdon Mustang football standout, playing nose guard. He was also known for the special NFL helmet he needed for his big head.

Today, he cuts hair on the weekends and is a long-haul truck driver for FedEx through the week. His route is usually to New Jersey twice weekly. He has been driving for 12 years, mainly for the health benefits for he and daughter, Emily, a 2020 graduate of HHS and a freshman at Bethel University. She is a member of the Bethel Renaissance Regiment marching band.

Mr. Harold Howard gifted the parcel of land to Desmond and provided the down payment to construct the new barber shop in 1998.

“He made it happen,” said Desmond of Mr. Howard. “This was my dream.”

Above Desmond’s workstation is a photograph of Mr. Howard and a tribute wall has a photograph of Mr. Howard in his WWII military uniform.

Desmond said he started cutting hair at the age of 14 in his mom’s living room. It was his dream to some day have his own barber shop. Today, he said he cuts the hair of people throughout the area. He is open on weekends and proudly accepts walk-in customers.

He has continuously operated the shop except for several months in 2020, when the State of Tennessee shut down all barber and beauty shops during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I change lives, one cut at a time,” said Desmond. His street side signs reads, “Where particular people receive their cuts.” That’s a spinoff of the former Tips Dairy Bar slogan of “Where particular people eat.”

He said the people of Huntingdon invested in him and now he tries to give back in the same manner.

“I take pride in what I do and try to make it enjoyable,” concluded Taylor.

The shop is located at 13340 Paris Avenue, Huntingdon, next to Head Start. The phone number is 731-552-0132.

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