Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 18, 2014

50 YEARS OF CUTTING

John Tobias became stylist after job loss

NAPPANEE — As is often the case, getting laid off from work set Nappanee native John Tobias on a different career path — a path that he’s stayed on for 50 years.

Tobias recently celebrated his 50th anniversary as a hair stylist and an open house was held in his honor on May 3.

Tobias explained how this career shift came about. He said when he first started working he worked at Mutschler’s Kitchen Cabinets and then was drafted into the army. He served for two years “at the time when the Berlin Wall was built,” he said. When he returned, employees at his former employer were on strike so he got a job at a trailer factor in Wakarusa. He met his first wife, Dee, who was a hairdresser and when he got laid off after a year, “She talked me into going to beauty school.”

Tobias said he finished beauty school in 1964 and worked with his then wife for 30 years at their shop in downtown Nappanee — Moderne Beauty Salon. After the couple divorced and she moved out of town, John kept the shop open for a couple of years but said it got to be too much.

“So I came out here to rent a booth,” he said, looking around Hair Quarters.

At that time the shop on East Market Street was called Hair Dimensions, now it is Hair Quarters and is owned by Rob Shaw.

Although becoming a hairdresser rather than a barber in the early ‘60s was not very common, because he was around his wife’s business it was second nature to him.

“When I was in school I was the only male and the first one to get out of Elkhart Beauty College,” Tobias said.

He shared that when he was in school he couldn’t do facials or manicures, “Because they didn’t want me holding the ladies’ hands,” he said, adding that he did in later years, especially when running the shop on his own. “I got to where I was working until 9 p.m.”

Text Only
Local News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive