Barbershop has been fixture in community since 1922

first_img“Things keep changing in La Puente … Dwain’s represents continuity,” said Steve Stolar, president of the Fire Device Co., a business across the street. Every three weeks for the past 10 years, Stolar has been going to Dwain’s for a trim and some good conversation. It’s what keeps Laughlin’s business thriving, according to his patrons. “He’s a good barber, and I like the place,” Stolar said. “It’s comfortable there.” The cozy business, about the size of a large bedroom, is reminiscent of old-fashioned barbershops from the 1950s and ’60s when haircuts at Dwain’s were $1.75. A worn brown couch comforts patrons waiting for a cut, or friends just dropping in to say “hi.” Laughlin has two barber chairs, but he only uses one. A leather belt hangs from it for sharpening straight-edge razors. “I’m too old for this,” Laughlin says, wearing a sleeveless, grape-color smock. He thinks 2007 has to be the end of his hair-trimming days. But then again, he said that last year. On the walls of the shop, old photos of La Puente and newspaper ads from the 1960s give it a nostalgic feel. And its convenient location in Old Town La Puente, which in itself resembles a scene out of Mayberry, helps the mood along. “This place is like a little bit of tradition,” said Luis Argudo, who had his first haircut there as a 1-year-old in 1975. The store itself, which has been operating continuously as a barbershop since 1922, has long been a staple in the community, said Cecilia Wictor, curator of the La Puente Valley Historical Society. “It was always meant to be that, I guess,” she said, adding that her grandfather frequented the shop for a daily morning shave in the ’20s. Laughlin paid $1,000 to buy the place in 1957 from Jack Wallace. With it, he bought a rich history. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA PUENTE – There are no customers at Dwain’s Barber Shop, just old friends. “Most of my regulars are waiting for me at Rose Hills \,” said owner Dwain Laughlin, standing inside his Main Street storefront. The 75-year-old has been cutting hair there for a half-century this month. His scissors have sliced through as many as three and four generations of locks – which is surprising for a guy who never even wanted to be a barber. last_img

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