Longtime Hippodrome barber fondly remembered

Remembering the Hippodrome barber

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham's Woodlawn community is mourning the loss of one of their own.

Vincent Oliver, the owner of the Hippodrome Barber shop, died Monday.

"He's always wanted to be a barber. He started this shop when he was 25," said his eldest son John. "He bought the shop in 1966 and this October would have been 52 years."

Although Vincent Oliver didn't live to see that anniversary, his presence is still very much alive.

"You came here more for the experience than the haircut," John said. "You got a great haircut but it was much more than that."

All you have to do is look around the barbershop to see that - starting with the name.

"The Hippodrome was named after the large Vaudeville arena, venue if you will, in NYC where a lot of magicians of the day, at the turn of the century, performed at, including Harry Houdini," John said.

A love of life and all things fun, his dad's customers easily picked up on his enthusiasm.

"And everything you see came from his customers because they wanted to bring things to my father because it made him happy," John said.

Many of those items are still around today. That starts with the first gift, a picture of a 1936 bi-plane but continues to other Birmingham memorabilia and the sign advertising $12 a cut.

Vincent Oliver died Monday after a short bout with pneumonia. He was 77.

"He did what he loved doing so when I leave here and shut the lights off I have happy thoughts because he was doing what he wanted to do," John said.

Vincent Oliver's arrangements are as follows:

Thursday, July 12th

Kilgore Funeral Home - 1750 Ashville Road, Leeds, AL

Public Visitation: 6-8 p.m.

Friday, July 13th

St. Theresa Catholic Church - 8101 3rd Avenue, Leeds, AL

Rosary/Mass: 2 p.m

Followed by Grave Site Service at Cedar Grove Cemetery (next to Kilgore Funeral Home).

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