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Published: Wednesday, 1/12/2005

Toledo: Barber ready to hang up scissors after 45 years

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Leslie Welch and Dick Dietsch. Leslie Welch and Dick Dietsch.
ZAPOTOSKY / BLADE Enlarge

Quietly and with little fanfare, a Toledo legacy for two generations will soon come to an end when Dick Dietsch retires from the Friendly Service Barber Shop, at 4450 Lewis Ave., near Eleanor Avenue.

Mr. Dietsch, 65, whose father started the barber shop in 1932, said 45 years behind the chair and a bad ankle was enough. The long hours of cutting hair and grooming customers who came friends and friends who practically became family had taken its toll.

But it was those customers, friends, and de facto family members who kept him going year after year. The nearly 73-year-old business, though, will change hands likely by the end of the month to Leslie Welch, a barber Mr. Dietsch hired right out of barber school 28 years ago as one of his first female barbers.

Mr. Dietsch said barbers do more than cut hair. They're counselors, advisers, debaters, and referees.

"You wouldn't believe some of the conversations," Mr. Dietsch said with a hardy laugh. "We've talked about everything from car repair, politics, marital problems, sex problems, you name it. You have to be a good listener to be successful.

Mr. Dietsch said he didn't want to see his children follow in his footsteps because of the physical demand of cutting hair.

His oldest son, Tony Dietsch, 44, owns Clean Care, Inc. Scott Dietsch, 41, is a salesman for Overhead Door Co. of Toledo, Inc. His daughter, Kristy Dietsch, 36, is a marketing director at The HoneyBaked Ham Co.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095.



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