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A Cut Above – Larry Friesner offering quality haircuts and more than 40 years of experience

By Staff | Jan 11, 2008

ESTHERVILLE–It was 42 years ago when a young Estherville High School graduate decided to attend barber school in Sioux City.

Fast forward to 2008 and Larry Friesner can be found manning his one-chair barber shop at 706 Central Ave. in Estherville.

Mr. Friesner’s has been in its present location since 1982. “I moved in here the same day the (EHS) girls (basketball team) won at state and I’ve been here ever since.”

Although he is back up to full-time status again, he suffered two health-related setbacks since 2005.

It was Memorial Day Weekend in 2005 when plans were made for a motorcycle ride with his daughter and her husband who reside in Primghar.

Little did the trio know the little trip would force Friesner to take an unavoidable detour.

“We stopped to gas up and my kick stand didn’t engage,” he explained. “When I got off of the bike, it tipped on me because I was caught off-guard.”

The big bike caused a crack in his humerus, the upper arm bone, and sidelined Friesner from cutting hair during the summer of 2005.

Friesner said he was so angry the bike was never brought home. “My daughter sold it down in Primghar.”

By August of that year, he was back on the job but it was slow going.

A medical check up at the end of November was scheduled at the clinic in Estherville.

Friesner recalled how the nurse came in and informed him that his mother had been transported the emergency room. He followed the nurse to the emergency room.

She told him to sit in the chair.

That was the last he remembered because when the nurse turned to face him, Friesner was on the floor.

“My heart just quit. There was no attack involved. I guess I had every nurse and doctor there.”

Although he doesn’t recall, he was taken to the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls where he regained consciousness two days later. Soon after he was gently told of his mother’s death.

“I had to quit work again until the first of February and then it was part-time or half-days.”

Slowly, Friesner worked his way back to full time with his physician’s approval. “I’ve been pretty much full time since the summer of 2006.”

Customers of Mr. Friesner’s can expect a personalized touch because each is a customer and not a number.

“I treat them with respect and do what they want done. I never rush them in or out because they are the ones paying my salary,” he said, noting that it takes more time this way but his customers deserve the attention to detail.

In addition, Friesner keeps a file on each customer, as to what was performed and when. He said he decided to use a file system as a way of remembering the personal likes of each customer.

A few of his clientele are women.

Although he has been a one-man show for a few decades, the barber’s job took him to Tim and Al’s Barber Shop in Spencer for two years beginning in 1967.

He then snipped and trimmed along side Cecil Eide in Estherville at Central Barbershop from 1969-1973.

At that point, he and the family moved to Carroll so he could work at a barber shop there. But that didn’t pan out and the family returned to Estherville where he worked for OK Barbershop for a short time.

“In April 1974, I started my own barbershop in the 700 block of Central Avenue. It was eight years later that I moved in here. Moving into this mini mall was the best thing to do.”

“I really enjoy the people and having conversations with them. I enjoy getting up and going to work.”

When not working, Friesner and his wife Cheryl keep up with their six children and 14 grandchildren.

Contact Mary Ann Menendez at (712) 362-2622 or mmenendez@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com