Star Barber

Ronald Marshall, business owner – Virginia Tech Students

Ronald Marshall, current owner, Star Barber Shop
2530 South Shirlington Road, Arlington, VA
Interview conducted by Charles Egli on March 11, 2017

Business Summary:
A previous employee of Majestic Barber Shop, Galvester Crawley established Star Barber Shop around 1956. The business was purchased in about 1987 by current owner Ronald Marshall, who began working at the shop as a barber in 1965. Ronald can still be found cutting hair alongside Star Barber Shop’s next generation of barbers, whose “fresh ideas” he welcomes as complementary to the business’ traditions.

Interview Summary:
Ronald Marshall is the present owner of Star Barber Shop, where he began working as a barber in 1965 under then-owner Galvester Crawley. When Galvester passed away in 1987, Ronald bought the business from the Crawley family. Though some things have changed about the business since he began working there, Ronald takes pride in his shop’s respect for tradition and the care and quality of service it continues to provide to its customers. He also values the “fresh ideas” his son Carl, a part-­time barber at the shop, and another young barber bring to the business, such as setting up a Facebook account to advertise and attract customers. Ronald is originally from Fairfax County and has never actually lived in Green Valley, but in addition to operating one of its most longstanding businesses he has hosted equestrian programs with the community’s youth, horses being a passion of his since childhood.

“Star Barber Shop for 50 years has been taking care of the public, and it’s been taking care of me too.”

Ronald Marshall, owner

“Old foundation, that’s me, I’ve been here longer; I have older customers, I’m fifth generation. Fresh ideas? My son.”

Ronald Marshall, owner

Full Interview on Arlington’s WERA 96.7

Brenda Barbee and Francis (Wayne) Crawley – Virginia Tech Students

Brenda Barbee and Francis “Wayne” Crawley, children of original owner, Star Barber Shop
2530 South Shirlington Road, Arlington, VA
Interview conducted by Charles Egli on March 7, 2017

Interview Summary:
Brenda Barbee (née Crawley) and Francis (Wayne) Crawley are two children of Galvester Crawley, the original owner of Star Barber Shop. Because the business catered primarily to men, Brenda didn’t have many experiences with the shop during her childhood. In 1986 or 1987, she began helping her father with the shop’s bookkeeping since he had become ill. Wayne worked at the shop as an apprentice barber, though he eventually decided he wasn’t interested in making that his career. Brenda and Wayne described the foundations of the shop, its clientele, its status as an informal community meeting place for men, their family’s decision to sell the shop to Ronald Marshall (the current owner), and their memories of growing up in Arlington and the Green Valley neighborhood, among other topics.

“In a barber shop, you basically talk about everything: politics, religion, anything goes…what’s going on in the community, what’s happening…It was just a place where mostly the men gathered to talk.” 

Wayne Crawley, son of original owner

“It was a great community to grow up in. I think it gave all of us a head start in life: good education, good values, good friendships. Some of my friends from first grade are still my friends….[T]here’s still a camaraderie there and there’s still a core that’s still there.”

Brenda Barbee, daughter of original owner