Mt. Pleasant. 1220 Ben Sawyer Blvd., Ste. K. 884-2880
Mt. Pleasant. 891 Houston Northcutt Blvd. 881-3080
N. Charleston. 5101 Ashley Phosphate Road. 767-9177
Danny Causey has spent the last 42 years hanging out with his friends and talking sports, and he's kept them looking sharp in the process.
When Causey was 20 years old, he worked as an electrician's helper. One day in an attic, he got a nail stuck in his head. After leaving the hospital, he went to the barber to get his hair touched up around the wound. "There were two guys playing checkers and one guy was talking about sports," says Causey. "I said 'I really like what you do.' So two weeks later I wrecked my car, took the money, and went to barber school in Jacksonville."
On September 1, 1965, Causey opened his shop on the corner at the Sea Island Shopping Center on Coleman Boulevard, where it still stands today, pre-dating the traffic, Wendy's Restaurant, and bank that now surround it.
Inside the shop, the years fade away. The walls and ceiling are adorned, or rather covered, with hundreds of college and professional sports team's banners, trading cards, and figurines, mostly from decades gone by. His prized possessions are the numbered figurines, and he points out a Johnny Bench model he received as a birthday gift from his wife.
Causey's customers regularly bring him new memorabilia, including a helmet signed by John Elway, which he received after this year's Super Bowl. "They just want me to clutter it up more," says Causey. His favorites are the local teams -- the Citadel, Clemson, Carolina -- "just whoever's doing well."
Several years ago, Causey expanded to multiple locations, everywhere from Isle of Palms to Broad Street downtown, but says "it's too hard to find good barbers." In addition to the original location, he currently operates at Patriot's Point Plaza and Festival Center, with family working at each place. His wife, two sons, and daughter-in-law are all barbers at one of the shops, and his 90-year-old father opens the Sea Island location every morning at 6 a.m., making the coffee and putting the hot towels in the steamer.
Although Causey himself is now retired, he still comes in most days to cut his regular customers. Billy Summersett, a retired distribution manager for the Post and Courier, has been a customer since the doors opened in 1965. The shop opens at 6 a.m., and he would come in when he got off work early in the morning. "A lot of retired people or folks who just can't sleep come in early," says Causey. "Some people just come by and drink coffee, don't even get their hair cut." He jokes about one customer who would come in once a week and use the phone to make his tee time, letting his wife believe he was busy at work.
Causey's has an old-time barber's chair out front, underneath the iconic blue-and-red spinning pole sign. "It's always pretty much the same thing," says Summersett about his 42 years of being a weekly client. There is the occasional excitement, like the day he arrived to find the window broken and the television taken by a thief.
Politicians like Strom Thurmond, Fritz Hollings, and Jim Edwards have been customers over the years, and local athletic stand-outs are always celebrities at Causey's. "More or less, in here sports is what we talk about more than anything else," says Causey.
In the days of the $30 spiky-haired salon 'do, institutions like Causey's are a welcome step back in time to days when haircuts didn't require appointments and the wait was a chance to see your friends and talk about last night's game.