By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Pete Poetz, also known as “Pete the barber,” has retired as of June 1, after 19 years of business in Howard Lake.
“I’m 72 years old; it’s time,” Poetz said.
Poetz had shoulder replacement surgery three months ago, and had intended to return to work after healing, he noted.
“After two months of not being able to return, I decided it’s time to call it quits,” Poetz commented.
Poetz cut hair for men and children from all over the area, including Howard Lake, Waverly, Montrose, Winsted, and Cokato.
“Some of my customers came in the first week I was open and continued until I retired,” Poetz added.
He expressed his appreciation for the customers who supported him over the years.
“The worst was any kid’s first haircut,” Poetz recalled. “They would kick and scream and their dad would have to hold them down.”
Poetz had many “bad” haircuts to fix, including children who had cut their own hair.
“Some little boys came in with their bangs gone,” he remembered.
The best part of owning a barber shop was being his own boss, he noted.
Poetz was raised in St. Bonifacius, and moved to Winsted 25 years ago, where he and his wife, Bernell, still reside.
The couple has a blended family of six children, Peter Jr., Carla, Lonnie, Lannie, Lisa, and Angela.
Although Poetz is retired, he is keeping busy, he said.
“I’m finding plenty to do at home,” he commented.