Tyrone Burton has been cutting hair for more than 50 years at his barber shop in downtown Biloxi. Saturday, he will be recognized by the City of Biloxi for his 53 years of service and dedication in and outside of his business. Burton is more than a barber. He's a father, mentor, deacon, and friend to many. Saturday, he'll be honored as one of the few who paved the way and stuck with Biloxi through the tough times. Burton says, "I have the passion and the love for the community. After Katrina, we really took a blow, but in fact I was one of the first ones to be back in business." At one time, there were 15 stores on Main Street. Now Burton's is just one of three. Burton opened his first shop on Main Street in 1962, and opened his larger, current store in 1988. He cuts hair for 10 to 20 customers each day. He has seen many stores come and go, but he says his dedication is what has kept his business open. Burton also says, "I'm like that, saying I try to do it right the first time and they come back."
Burton's customers return year after year to not only get their haircut, but to share their stories. Calvin Jackson, a longtime customer, says, "He's a pillar of the community. He's been a good friend and anything I need to know, I get his blessing, and he's certainly been a good friend over the years." Haircutting runs in the Burton family. Burton's cousin cut hair and now his daughter runs the beauty salon next door. Roshena Brooks, Burton’s daughter, says, "I think he's well deserving of this honor, and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm proud of him. Everyone has their superstars, both athletes and everything, but he's my star." Over the years, he has cut hair for as many as five generations in families, and he has had some prominent figures in his chair as well. Burton closes, "For example, Oprah Winfrey's dad. He's 81 and he still cuts hair and I had the experience of cutting his hair. He sat right here in this chair."
Many others will hopefully continue Burton’s legacy as Burton continues to use his gifts to groom and mentor inside and outside of this shop. Burton plans on passing the business over to his son when he's ready to retire. He'll be honored Saturday night at the Biloxi Community Center.