If ever I became a star, Danny Baker would then be considered barber & beard trimmer to the stars, but until I reach that lofty height consider him a great barber and one of the nicest guys you could know.

The Baker family at home prior to the diagnosis. Photo courtesy of the Baker family.

When I first grew out my beard a few years ago I knew I'd have to go to someone that had the experience of years behind the chair and steady hands with a straight blade.  What I found when I walked through the front door of Baker's Barber Shop at 7 South 25th in Temple was a step back in time while I got a perfect cut & trim.

The memorabilia that hangs from the walls and sits on the shelves at Baker's Barber Shop takes you back in time with helmets, footballs, lettermen jackets, and just about every other poster & collectible from area high schools & colleges.  The conversation was always about Temple, Belton & area high school football.  Danny showed his Wildcat side & always made sure to tune in to the radio broadcast, whether it was Mark McLain or myself behind the microphone with Gene Pemberton.

I also found out that Danny & his wife, Frances (also a top-notch barber & beard trimmer to this wannabe star), are from the same hometown as my mom & dad.  Just a few years apart in graduating class, I'm quite sure they crossed paths at some point.  That wouldn't be odd if that hometown wasn't Tahlequah, Oklahoma, some random town 7 hours away in northeast Oklahoma, best known for its prominent place in the book & movie Where the Red Fern Grows.

The first time I walked in & noticed the absence of Danny was when I first heard about Danny's diagnosis.  I was shocked, as I'm sure everyone is when they hear the "C" word about a friend or family member, but I was told, "It's the cancer you'd want to get if you had to get it", which is odd to hear but was something I'd heard from others in the past.  I was told it would be an 8-week treatment and things would be back to normal.


Danny & Frances prior to Danny's diagnosis. Photo courtesy the Baker family.

Some months later now, we're far from normal in the Baker household.  1-in-a-million side effects began piling up, making this 8-week treatment extend and extend.  Through it all, Frances has been there, holding down the fort at work, and playing doctor, nurse & biggest supporter of Danny at home and at the hospital.  You can never get a read on what's going on behind the scenes by looking at her, as Frances presses on every day the doors are open for business with a smile on her face and steadfast confidence that we're right around the corner from the finish line.

Whether you've ever sat in Danny's chair or not, I'd love for you to one day get that chance, and I'd love for you to help out the Baker family through their Go Fund Me page.  The Baker's are a chair down, literally & figuratively, and through the continued support of the doctors, nurses, family & friends, that chair will soon be back in business.  Let's show support to a local businessman that we know would do the same for us.

I love the full experience of an old-fashioned barber shop, and getting that trim with a straight razor takes you back, just like the memorabilia on the wall.  I don't have a whole lot of hair left up top, and until mother nature finishes her job I'm counting on Danny & Frances keeping me looking as good as genetically possible.  Let's help the Bakers get back to full staff, at home & at the shop.

 GoFundMe.com direct link to Danny's page