By January 10, 2019 0 Comments Read More →

Remembering Larry The Barber

Remembering Larry the Barber
By Chris Murphy

It is so sad that we lost Larry the Barber at the end of 2018.

Larry Powell was known as the Eleventh Street Barber since 1988. He passed away on December 29, at the age of 74, exactly one month following his wife of 53 years.

His original shop was across located on the street level of Hotel Covell on 11th St and remained there until the building was set to be torn down to build city buildings and parking garage.

He reopened his shop on the north side of 11th, where the Indian that he carved himself was seen in the window and became a landmark for many that passed by and visited. Over the years, he had hundreds of clients that were dedicated regulars. Many of the judges, lawyers, police, and downtown community were his customers and friends for the past 30 years.

Those that had their haircut were treated to the his exceptional traditional barber skills and the affordable rates that he kept. Guests would hear about his travels, family and could see the many paintings that he was working on as the works progressed.

Greg Giahos was a regular with Larry and remembered him fondly.
“My boys, Steve, Vas and myself all had our hair cut there since they were 5 years old up until he retired. Larry was always happy, always smiling and always had some really cool painting he was working on. He was a fantastic artist and he even carved the Indian in the window. He took art classes at MJC and he really got into watercolor and went to Monterey to paint. He always would work on art in the back alcove to work on art when he wasn’t busy. If he saw something, he would take a picture and make a painting. He was our exclusive barber for over 23 years and our kids would even wait to get their haircut until they came home from college. We all went down there the last day he was there on Sept 20 2017.”

His son, and local musician, artist and pool service owner Bryon Powell fondly remembers his father and said “He didn’t want a memorial service, so the only way his 30 years of customers (most of whom became his friends) would have any clue about his passing would be a couple of lines in the obituary section, but I feel his contribution to downtown Modesto deserves a little more”.

I asked Bryon what the future would hold for his carved Indian and paintings and he said “The Indian that he hand carved in the barbershop stood tall in the front window since 1991, and will have a new forever home with me and all of his paintings are staying in the family.

We agree that his contribution deserves more and we remember Larry for being such an important and friendly part of Downtown Modesto history. Please share this story and please feel free to share your memories here for Bryon and his family.

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.