Roy Lange
Roy Lange
Roy Lange, who is in his 50th year as a barber, is the honorary grand marshal of the 2016 Western Days grand parade.

“I’m the senior businessperson here in Chatfield…I’ve been here since 1969,” stated barber Lange, switching on the electric razor to buzz the fine hairs from his grandson’s neck as he finished his haircut on a recent afternoon.

Lange’s twin brother, Ray, a barber in Spring Valley, is also marking his 50th year in business as a barber, making their combined years 100.

They were born on Dec. 14, 1943. Both boys went to school in Wykoff for all 12 grades, and they graduated in 1962. After enlisting in the service and doing other jobs, the two decided to go to barber school.

“Ray and I were older than most of the kids there,” said Lange. “We were probably the poorest kids in school in Wykoff, but we were the top students in barber school…we studied, and it paid off.”

They completed their two-year apprenticeships in White Bear Lake, and at that point, Roy came to Chatfield, settling into business in a barber shop on the east side of the street where the former Chatfield movie theater stood. The theater was torn down in 1979, at which point he relocated to the west side of Main Street.

Ray had established himself in a shop in Spring Valley, so the brothers convened occasionally to compare business notes.

Roy got married in 1970 to Kathy, whom he met in 1968 at the Pla-Mor Ballroom in Rochester. They have three children – Jennifer, born in 1973, Jill, born three years later, and Steven, born four years after that. They also have five grandchildren – two girls and three boys.

“We keep our dancing shoes on and go up to the Medina Ballroom occasionally,” he said. “I’m on the Commercial Club, the Legion and we belong to the Methodist church, help out with serving food at the Western Days food stand in the park, raise a little money for the cause.”

Lange enjoys spending his spare time fixing clocks, doing some woodworking and small automotive upholstery on “tractor seats and stuff,” cracking black walnuts, spending time with his grandchildren, going for drives up the Mississippi with Kathy in his 1963 Ford Falcon, attending a few car shows here and there, and also lending a hand with Western Days activities, including sponsoring the car show, as well.

“Western Days brings a lot of people back home, and I like that it’s people being able to connect with one another again,” he said.