Yesterday: Gemayel’s Barber Shop in Spencer

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 12, 2015

Dean Shore submitted this photograph of  Gemayel’s Barber Shop in Spencer, and he thinks it was taken sometime in the 1930s. His grandfather, C.T. “Check” Cruse, is the middle barber. The first barber in front, right, is Harry Peacock, and the other barber at the far left is Nome Gemayel. Gemayel has Oliver Ketchie in his chair. Check Cruse has Frank Walker, and Peacock is cutting the hair of Luther French. The shop was directly across from the Spencer Shops on Salisbury Avenue.  ‘My grandfather later gave up barbering and established Cruse Extermination,” Shore says. ‘When he retired, he sold the company to Elium Extermination. He was known as Check Cruse because he was extremely good at checkers and gambled in the back room. I was told he was hard to beat in checkers. Check and his wife, Leola Turner Cruse, lived at 510 5th St. in Spencer for many years. They had two children, Neal Cruse and Shore’s mom, Doris Cruse Shore Williams. ‘My Uncle Neal was a barber in Winston-Salem for years,’ Shore says. ‘My mom, Doris, was a beautician in Spencer for a number of years.’