Talon News - Good Local News

CITY BARBER SHOP - A HISTORY

 

December 21, 2018

Talon- City Barber staff, Mike Trujillo, Lisa Collins, Loretta Trujillo-Giovanni & Ron (Ronnie) Trujillo.- PHOTO - TALON

by TALON Staff

When Joe Trujillo began his barber career at City Barber 62 years ago, he probably had no idea of the legacy he was beginning. That was 1956, at the former location at 103 W.Chaco. In 1977 he relocated the shop to its current location at 121 N. Main. Son, and barber, Mike explains, "It was nothing but an empty dirt lot with weeds". Initially, Joe built the front portion of the shop, then added the four booths to the rear to accommodate his growing business in 1979. Mike and his siblings grew up in the business. Mike reminisces about his childhood, remembering shining customer's shoes and sweeping merchant's storefronts. He recalls, "It was a great place to grow up!"

Joe always had an interest in cutting hair, reportedly cutting his high school class-mate's hair when growing up in Cuba NM. His children, Ron, Donna, Mike and Loretta had varying degrees of interest in the family business. Mike shares, "I really didn't know what I wanted to do in life when I got out of school. Being that barbering was in my face I thought well, I'll go get my license, be a barber, until I decide what I'm gonna do". He laughs, "Well, I'm 58 and haven't decided". Mike did study accounting and did well but chose to remain in the family business. Ron and Mike were successful in hair styling competitions, earning multiple state awards and Ron won a national competition. Based on that notoriety Ron was offered a job in Hollywood but turned it down because he felt like he had everything he wanted in Aztec, "I was just having a family, dad had just built the shop, it was brand new". At one point, Donna had earned a reputation as one of the top stylists in Denver. She also worked at the barber shop off and on. But, Loretta jokes, "I was the one that said I would never join the hair business, ever". Things changed though, "Dad was retiring, we had lost our sister, Ron was in Albuquerque and Mike was working alone. Mike asked me at the right time". Joe retired around age 60, but continued to spend brief periods of time at the shop cutting hair for approximately seven more years.

More recently, Lisa Collins joined the Trujillos and is considered part of their extended family, having known them since first grade. Collins remembers going with her dad to City Barber as a child, getting bubble gum and peanuts. Now a full licensed costmetologist, she finds the barber shop customers refreshing after spending years in salons, "They're not watching you, what pants you're wearing, what shoes you're wearing. They're watching that head of hair". The current team of Ron, Mike, Loretta and Collins has 128 combined years of experience!

As one might suspect, the Trujillos have seen a lot of changes in Aztec. They have fond memories of a time that Aztec had more restaurants, theaters and busloads of people would stop over during bus tours on Saturdays. The rich history does not stop at what they have seen happen, but the stories that customers have shared, teaching them about an Aztec that not many know.

The Trujillos estimate that their business is probably the second oldest in town with original owners. Ron and Mike remember $1.25 haircuts and they have had fifth generation clients. The team at City Barber is proud to be part of Aztec's business district and feel that Aztec treats them well. They cannot estimate the number of clients they have had over the years, but guess it has be thousands.

 

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