State College, Pa- Since 1956, Elmer Madden has held a job as a barber on Allen street in State College, Pennsylvania.
He bought his first shop in 1960, from an owner who was picketed after refusing to cut black hair. It was located in Pickles’ current space and was there for 20 years. He has been at his current space at 111 South Allen Street for 30 years.
Madden has had a wide range of customers from students to the President of the University just this month. Over the years he has seen evolution of hair trends in State College. From flat tops to princeton cuts, the “hippie” period to today’s short buzz cuts, Madden has seen it all.
“I’m at the age where I need to retire,” says Madden.
He plans on remaining in state college and keeping his daily routine of eating breakfast at the Corner Room.
“I’ll just gradually change my routine from day to day. Maybe I’ll do more with my grandsons.”
He will be handing over the business to Cristy Orso on January 1st, 2012. Orso has been cutting hair for 13 years at Rinaldo’s.
“I feel real good about it. She’s a real Nice Person.” says Madden. “I encourage [customers] to give Christy a try.
—By Katherine Rodriguez