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 Cowboy Mel’s Barber Shop 
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 Post subject: Cowboy Mel’s Barber Shop
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:39 pm 
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I've never been there, but Mel's shop was mentioned in the following Strib story that showed up in my google news alert for "carry permit":

Source http://www.startribune.com/142/story/1290929.html
Quote:
A trim and a snip of Americana

Photo by Thomas Whisenand, Star Tribune

Mel James, owner of Cowboy Mel’s Barber Shop, relaxed in one of the chairs at his shop in downtown Anoka.

Collectively, Mel James and Buzz Arndt have more than 80 years of experience cutting hair in the north metro -- James at Cowboy Mel's in Anoka, and Arndt at Buzz's Barber Shop in Fridley. Anyone with an appreciation for history would stop and do a double-take upon seeing these two classic shops: They're exactly the sort of unique, time-frozen places that people (with justification) disparage the suburbs for lacking. Arndt said there once were eight barber shops along University Avenue near his place. "I'm the only one left," he said.

By Eric Hanson, Star Tribune

Last update: July 10, 2007

mel james

Age: 67

Home: Elk River

Shop: Cowboy Mel's, 1923 2nd Av., Anoka

The story: Mel has owned Cowboy Mel's since 1963, having taken over for his father, Mel Sr., who also was a barber. "He died about 12 years ago and we miss him every day," James said. "He had more one-liners than Jack Benny. He was a good guy." James' grandmother and great-uncle cut hair, too. James was going to go to art school, he said, but he got into barbering after graduating from high school. He got married and "never did get back to art school -- that's just the way life is," he said.

In many businesses these days, the management places a sign on the entrance saying they ban guns on the premises. Not at Cowboy Mel's, where a sign reads, "We love carry permit holders." What's the story there? "Everybody should carry a pistol -- everybody," James said. "If not a pistol, a shotgun. Something. It deters crime. Those guys that have got the signs in the window -- 'no guns allowed' -- well, they're wide-open for someone to hold them up because the criminal will know that there's no guns there."

The name Cowboy Mel comes from softball teams James sponsored. "They were always saying: Let's not be called Mel's Barber Shop, let's be Cowboy Mel's," James said.

Asked if it helps to be a good conversationalist when being a barber, James said, "You have to be. And you've got to know a little bit about everything and a lot about nothing."

John Wayne: There is a portrait of the Duke on a wall, hanging opposite a plastic deer head. James is asked a question about the deer head, but because it's loud in the shop, he misunderstands the question, thinking "plastic" is some sort of assessment of the Duke's acting style. "He looked like he was plastic? Just in a couple pictures," James said with a laugh.

About the deer head: "I've got deer horns all over and one walking, talking deer head," he said. "It's a talking one -- it sings six songs. Kids love it, but the batteries are dead, and I've got to get some new ones put in there."

The customers: James said there's no rhyme or reason to the number of customers he serves every day, but there are three part-time barbers employed at Mel's, in addition to James, who works four days per week. "A lot of regulars," he said. "Men, boys and women. Mostly men. There isn't anything we can't do."

The future: Asked how long he plans to continue cutting hair, James said, "Probably till I die."
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:38 pm 
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That's awesome. I'd visit Mel's if I had hair :o

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:01 pm 
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A great story. Old school stuff. Heritage, it gives one optimism.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:58 am 
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Many businesses post these "ban guns" signs? I have to go find me one.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:24 pm 
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Pakrat wrote:
Many businesses post these "ban guns" signs? I have to go find me one.


Cliffs.............Mcknight and Minnehaha

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:56 pm 
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I've been to Mel's a couple times since i first saw this. I never did see the guns welcome sign, but there is a sign inside stating "if you are in sight, you are in range"

Unfortunately Mel passed away a few months ago. The guy that took over seems pretty cool, ex-military (Army or Marines from the sound of it) I didn't ask him about his policy on carry, but we did talk guns a bit, and he was planning on going to the range after he closed up shop that day, IIRC.

Prices are reasonable, he uses a straight razor to clean up the neck and around the ears. He MIGHT be willing to do shaves, but it's iffy.

Oh, and the in range sign is still up.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:40 pm 
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ttousi wrote:
Cliffs.............Mcknight and Minnehaha

Hey!!! I used to go there when I was a whipper snapper! I wonder if it is the same owner.


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