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Beloved local businessman dies

  • Ron-the-barber

    A photo memorial of former owner Ron Granneman, on left, on a barber's chair at Ron's Northview Barber Shop in North Ridgeville Aug. 13.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Amidst the buzz of shaving clippers, two barbers inside Ron's Northview Barbershop recall the memories the shop's namesake left behind.

Ron Granneman, or "Ron the Barber" as he was known to the community, died last Friday at 77. For generations, he cut hair at his barbershop.

The shop has been in place since 1967. It still has black and white checkered floors and a rotating barber pole outside the door.

Ed Rodriguez, a barber at the shop for about 14 years, said Granneman owned the business for almost 45 years.

"He was never down," Rodriguez said. "He always had a positive vibe about him. Even when he was in some of his tougher times, he always had a smile. He always made you feel welcome. He truly was just a good man."

At the last count Granneman had done, he had been through five generations of people for haircuts, Rodriguez said. Many people went to Granneman when they were children, and then brought their own kids to the barbershop.

Although Granneman sold the shop in 2010 to Travis Franke, Rodriguez said that didn't stop him from cutting hair and coming into the barbershop.

"He truly loved to come to work," Rodriguez said. "Even when he was sick, he loved to come to work. He loved this place and he made such a great business. We'd like to see it go on for another 50 years. I'd love to keep it going. It's a childhood memory for me."

Granneman was a jokester, Rodriguez said. He loved a good joke and was always good at making people laugh.

Some of the stories and jokes Granneman told during his barber days aren't fit for print in a family newspaper, but they made those in the shop laugh just thinking about them.

Granneman had a skill for remembering people's names, Rodriguez said. Even if someone had been gone for over 20 years, Granneman still remembered their name when they came back.

In line with his work as a barber, Granneman also sang in a barbershop quartet. It was something he started when he began as a barber and kept it going.

He sang with the Cascade Chordsmen Barbershop Chorus and several other local quartets.

Granneman even had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem for the Cleveland Indians in his quartet.

Even Rodriguez was a customer of Granneman. He came to the barbershop as a high school student, and it was part of his inspiration to be a barber.

A customer in the shop chimed in and said Granneman was a mentor and like a father-figure to many of his customers.

Although he never gave a haircut for free, they laughed.

Granneman was also a bit of a collector. He "wheeled and dealed," as Rodriguez put it. Anything gold and silver, Granneman probably collected it. Coins, railroad pocket watches, guns.

He had such a collection of railroad pocket watches that he actually went around and gave speeches and evaluated the value of them for whoever brought a pocket watch in.

But most of all, Granneman is remembered for the laughs he brought, along with his haircuts.

"If I could say anything, he always had a great sense of humor," Rodriguez said. "A great sense of humor. He's just a good guy. He's going to be missed."

Contact Laina Yost at 329-7121 or lyost@chroniclet.com.
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