Screven County native Lamar Mock came to Effingham County with his wife, the former Carrie Bazemore. They wound up purchasing property after they had been here for awhile from the Lancaster estate and tended a small farm and garden including cows that Carrie milked daily. Mock Road near Springfield, where they lived was named for the Mocks. They reared three children: Catherine, Linda Gail and Cornell.
Inspired by an uncle, Audley Mock, Lamar became a barber. He first operated his barber shop in what was then the Rahn’s Feed and Seed building opposite the current Masonic Hall on Laurel Street in Springfield (now an empty lot). It was in the right front corner of the building and it had a shower. He stayed open late on Fridays and Saturday nights, often until near midnight. Men would buy a new shirt at the B&R next door and come for a shave, haircut and a shower. A shower cost 25 cents. In those days, people shopped late and went to the movies in Springfield on Fridays and Saturdays.
Times were hard during World War II. Mr. Mock worked some at the shipyard in Savannah. He did some plumbing and well work in the area, too. On weekends he worked in the Barber Shop of his wife’s brother Sidney Bazemore down the street.
Lamar later established Mock’s Barber Shop in the current location of Denise’s Haircuts opposite the Mars Theatre to the south of Snooks’ Store. The building was built by the Morgan brothers, Lester and Glenn.
The Mock family only had one automobile which he drove to town to work in his shop. He offered shaves, haircuts and shoe shines. Many different young men worked as shoe shiners in his shop. It was common for men to meet there and share lively conversations as they waited their turn in the barber chair.
Mr. Mock cut children’s hair and women’s hair. Dorothy Collum Hunter never went anywhere for a haircut but Mock’s Barber Shop. A baby got the first haircut for free. On his wedding day the groom got a free hair cut. Peggy Zittrouer Smith recalls having her hair cut there during her childhood. Mock had a board he placed across the arms of the barber chair to let the little ones sit up higher.
Thomas Bridges remembers a sign on the wall that read, “Most fishermen are liars except of course for me and you and I am not sure of you.” Tom remembers in the 1960s a haircut cost 50 cents. Touching the leather strap that he used to sharpen the razor was never allowed.
According to Tom, a young man’s rite of passage was when Mr. Mock mixed shaving powder into lather to shave your neck with his straight razor.
Catherine and Linda Gail recall since they only had the one automobile that they drove a mule and buggy to bring meals to their father while he worked. He had a small table in the corner of the shop. Mrs. Carrie always sent a plate of food and a quart jar of iced tea. Even if he was in the middle of a haircut, Mr. Mock stopped and immediately ate his dinner then returned to finish the haircut.
Granddaughter Susie M. Webb has her grandfather’s restored barber chair in their former home which she now owns and has lovingly restored.
Her grandmother Carrie was a fine cook and had family meals weekly well up into her senior years. Carrie sold cream and fresh milk and butter for many years along with fresh eggs from her chickens. “Mema’s Place” serves as a gathering spot for the family and events. It was the site for Susie’s daughter Amanda’s (now Amanda Williams) wedding and reception.
Many tales were told in Mock’s old Barber Shop. Denise Miller, the current occupant of the barber business just might hear the buzz of the clippers and tales from days gone by if she lets the place get very quiet.
Photos provided by Susie Webb. This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact her at 754-6681 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.