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Street BeatStreet Beat
January, 16 2007


Business, education, sports. Anderson residents have an opinion on everything. Now they have the chance to make their voices heard.

On Monday, The Herald Bulletin and 1240 AM WHBU presented the first installment of “Taking it to the Street Beat.” The monthly radio show will broadcast live from a city barbershop or hair salon and give panelists and audience members alike a chance to share their opinions.

The Style House Barber Shop served as the background on Monday. Charles Peters opened his door in October 1955, when Anderson was booming. Through all kinds of economic conditions, he has managed to keep his shop an important business on the west side of Anderson.

“When I started, a haircut cost 50 cents,” said Peters, 85. “I’ve seen them go up to $1, $2, $5, all the way up to $10. People are always going to stay groomed, as long as they have a few dollars in their pocket. They might not get a haircut as often, but they’re going to get it.”

Peters welcomed a small panel into his historic barbershop to talk about the issues of the day. James Burgess, president of the Madison County Branch NAACP, served as host and began the show by asking Peters about his longtime relationship to Anderson.

“We’ve been here since Oct. 15, 1955, and we’ve served many people during that time,” said Peters, 85. “For some families, I see five generations.”

But Peters is more than a barber and business owner, he is a community leader. In 1962, Peters partnered with the Indiana Department of Correction to give parolees from the Pendleton Correctional Facility the chance to learn a trade and land a job in his shop.

He has also passed the tradition on to his son, Chandler. “We see all kinds of people from all walks of life,” said Chandler, 38. “Professionals, nonprofessionals. It’s a business place and a meeting place for this area.”

The younger Peters and Darren Clay make up the young core of talent at Style House Barber Shop.“I finished barber school and I was looking for a job,” said Clay, 37. “Mr. Peters was the first person I called and he was nice enough to give me this opportunity.”

Peters’ elder son, James Peters Jr., also participated in the discussion Monday. As an educator with Anderson Community Schools, James has a unique view on the future of Anderson through its youth. Burgess asked his opinion of a proposed dress code for the district.

“The dress code is a new consideration because it’s one of the things that creates a distraction,” said James, 51. “One of the things kids worry about is ‘How do I look?’ So the attention is on what you wear and how you wear it instead of being focused on education.”

Robert Miles Jr., a regular customer at Peters’ Style House Shop, called wardrobe restrictions a good idea.

“I think they should have it,” Miles said. “Because kids are sagging (their pants) and it’s not good. It’s not the way it used to be.”
Source : http://www.theheraldbulletin.com
Credit : Newspaper, radio pair up for monthly program: Justin Schneider

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