AUSTIN - Cockrell's Barbershop in North Austin is more than just a place to get a fresh fade.
The shop has been a staple for decades and a home away from home for many. But it will soon close its doors.
This little gem in the Violet Crown Shopping Center off Lamar and Brentwood has been Tom Cockrell's home away from home for more than five decades.
"I love talking to people and love visiting with people," said Cockrell.
Whenever you walk into Cockrell's barbershop, it's like taking a step back in time. From the chairs you sit in while you wait to the barber chairs themselves, it's all part of Tom the barber's story.
In fact, Cockrell's stories never get old. He has plenty to tell at any given moment.
"People bring me jokes and I read them out of the different magazines and love to tell them," Cockrell said.
Cockrell's relationships with his clients over the past five decades is what keeps him going, especially during his current battle with stage 3 lymphoma, a battle 82-year-old Cockrell balances with chemo treatments and maintaining those decades-old relationships.
"I don't think he's ever met a stranger and he's never forgotten a name," said Rucker Hoskins, a customer of 55 years.
That includes the names of those who have sat in these chairs since they were young.
Cockrell keeps his photo album, a collection of pictures submitted by the families of kids who had their hair cut by Tom, including KVUE's Shawn Clynch.
But change is inevitable, and this special era will come to an end on Dec. 22.
"To have to tell your customers this is the end of the road ... it's pretty tough," Cockrell said.
An extremely tough decision to close the doors permanently on this gem of a barbershop after 54 years. As for now, Cockrell will focus on his health and spend time with family.
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