BY VINOD KANNU
Marvin Haffner, a resident of Wesson and owner of Haffner’s Barber Shop, believes in and loves America to his very core. A military man of sixteen years—four in the U.S. Air Force and twelve in the Air Force Reserve—his patriotic roots run deep into the history of our country. Several of his family members, including his great-grandfather, his grandfather, and his father, one son, and several nephews have served in our nation’s military. His great-great-grandfather served in the Union army during the Civil War. Haffner also has a deep interest in the history of our country.
A natural-born barber, following in his father’s footsteps, he has given haircuts to military personnel and civilians alike for thirty years.
Before moving to Wesson, Haffner was a barber in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was married until, sadly, his first wife died of cancer. Through the internet, he met his current wife. After talking to each of their pastors, they conversed on several occasins over the telephone and, subsequently, fell in love. He came to visit his wife-to-be in Wesson, and was hooked, not only by her, but also by the area. “I really loved it here. No one is in a rush and too busy to talk to you,” he stated. He then relocated to the area and opened a new business in Wesson.
His current location at the intersection of Hwy 51. and Sylvarena Road was once a dress shop-turned residence before he opened his barbershop. The location is great. Many people drive right by the place to and from work and school and trips to the various Wesson merchants. Big trucks carrying gravel and logs and just about anything else pass by at a rate of several per hour.
Until a few weeks ago, the building was a bright purple. Former owner Babs Woods, whose dress shop was located there for a while, wanted the place to be highly visible so that she had it painted a bright, vibrant purple.
Haffner didn’t mind having a purple building, but somehow it just didn’t seem to fit him and his business. He had other ideas that would not only allow him to display his pride in America, but also draw a different sort of attention to the business. So with diligence in selecting the right colors and after weeks of climbing up and down the scaffolding and adjusting shades and such, the new Haffner’s Barber Shop is just about ready.
The northern side of the building now displays a beautiful, waving American flag, with perfectly matched shades and shadows of red, white, and blue. Underneath the porch on the west side, Haffner has painted red, white, and blue alternating stripes. Haffner did this for two reasons. One reason was that he did it to express his patriotism. Another reason was for advertising. “After I finished painting the building, business nearly doubled,” said Haffner. In his next project on the south—facing end of the building– he is working on an eagle. An older tree that blocks the view of the south side is slated to be removed soon, Haffner added.
Undoubtedly others around Copiah County have been and will be proudly displaying patriotism in their own ways during this special time of year that is unique to Americans. Thanks to the sacrifice and dedication of many Americans throughout the previous 231 years, we can securely display our pride in our country at any time and in most any fashion. A fine example of this privilege that was purchased with blood, sweat and tears has been created by Haffner. The art of this patriot is surely a landmark for the town of Wesson and permanently exemplifies what Independence day is all about.