July 12 – Happy Birthday Joe Mason

poleBorn on this date in 1918, his real name was Joe Messineo but he grew up to become “Joe Mason the barber,” one of the kindest men it has ever been my pleasure to know, He gave me my first haircut at his barbershop located on the corner of Division and Guy Streets and just about every two weeks after that milestone event, me and my two older brothers would make the three block walk to his shop from our home on Leonard Street and “get our ears lowered.”

Joe was an active member of the Knights of Columbus. I still distinctly remember the mass at St. Michaels Church about 55 years ago, when I was sitting next to my Dad and the honor guard of Knights walked down the center aisle of that beautiful sanctuary. Each guy in the procession wore a feathered hat and carried a sword. All of a sudden one of them winked at me. It was my barber, Joe Mason. Man I thought that was neat.

Joe was also the host of an all Italian radio show broadcast by Amsterdam’s WCSS radio station. He spoke fluent Italian and lots of homes on the City’s West End and Southside had their radios tuned to 1490 when his show came on.

Joe was a lifelong resident of Amsterdam…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam-born hair-cutter in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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