Business continues to pass through generations

Published 2:40 pm Sunday, August 16, 2009

The oldest family-owned business in Alabaster — Edmondson Barber Shop — continues its tradition with a friendly atmosphere, good conversation and a haircut.

Third generation owner Alan Edmondson follows in the footsteps of his father, Solon, who ran the shop from 1955 through 1989, when Alan took over. Grandfather Percy originally started the business in the 30s and cut hair until 1965.

The business has been in three locations on Main Street. A change of location and a change in prices is about all the change you’ll see.

There are pictures of family, former customers, politicians, trophies, awards, deer antlers and other mementos of rodeos, parades, archery championships and the like that cover the walls.

Edmondson’s Barber Shop has always been a center of Alabaster political and civic information.

Alan and his opinions are well known. He has some neat stories about the old days of Red Walker and George Wallace. Sorry, I can’t print them.

Alan, as one of four sons of Solon and Wylodine Edmondson, had honesty and discipline instilled in him from an early age, as well as hard work and pride in success.

Edmondson graduated from Thompson High School in 1969 and wants to be remembered for treating people fairly.

“What goes around comes around” he said.

You may not always agree with the Edmondsons, but they are doing something right because there are fourth and fifth generation families who keep coming back for those famous flat-tops and regular “gentlemen cuts.”

Many youngsters are customers right along with their daddies.

Kathy gets stuck sometimes with the more difficult situations — long hair, weird colors — but she handles herself well in the decidedly man’s world.

Whether working on their 22-acre farm in Jemison or relaxing at the coastal home near Panama City, Kathy and Alan do things together.

As I was talking to them, I noticed one would pick up the other’s thoughts and words.

Son David will take over the business for them in the next few years and the Edmondsons will retire to Panama City, where they plan to boat, relax, eat the sweet scallops at their favorite eatery, Boondocks, and spoil grandchildren.

Big Alabama fans and members of Westwood Baptist, each has his or her own favorite pastimes.

Alan and Kathy would both love to go to Australia.

He wants to fly fish for trout in Colorado and she says taking her babies to the beach, fishing and other “grandma duties” bring her peace and happiness.

From 25 cent haircuts to $12 haircuts, the Edmondsons are definitely part of Alabaster history.

Thanks for the memories.

Sandra Thames is a community columnist for Alabaster. She can be reached by e–mail at