We love to learn of the history of our hometown Texarkana, while searching through the Facebook group “Remember in Texarkana” I saw the pics of Johnnie Pecorella on his last day as the Barber of the Grim.
I was looking at the many photos shared in the Facebook group and saw these of Johnnie Pecorella on the last day of the Hotel Grim Barber shop on October 20, 1990. He operated “Johnnie Pecorella’s Grim Barber Shop” for more than 40 years. Upon further research of Johnnie Pecorella I found this post at behance.net,
Johnnie Pecorella, the Grim barber, worked in his shop in the basement of the Grim Hotel in Texarkana, Texas, for more than four decades. Even after the hotel closed and was boarded up, Johnnie kept his shop open. On October 20, 1990, Johnnie opened his doors for business. He read his newspaper and waited. By noon, workers were removing the imported Italian marble from the walls while he packed his things and swept the floor for the last time. He didn’t want to leave a dirty shop, even if nobody would ever open the doors for business again. As he looked around he said, to no one in particular, “Well, I guess it’s like the guy who jumped from the top floor of the hotel…on the way down he said, ‘I’ll never do that again!'” He laid his head on his barber’s chair, but for only a moment. He then put on his jacket and hat, looked around once more, and locked the doors for the last time.
Johnnie Pecorella was a prominent figure in the Texarkana Community for many decades. He served selflessly on the Texarkana Arkansas Board of Directors for many years. There is even a street named for him in Texarkana Arkansas. Mr. Pecorella died on January 18, 1999 at the age of 92. His wife Blanche Pecorella passed away in February of 2000. They are buried together at Calvary Cemetary in Texarkana Arkansas.
(Photos by Bob Coleman – not a bad photographer for a harmonica player.)