Arlington, VA
James Moore at his barber shop on Lee Highway (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

A short, sweet, secret note handed to an Arlington barber earlier this week may perfectly encapsulate the hope that the pandemic could be nearing its end.

James Moore of Moore’s Barber Shop at 4807 Lee Highway posted on social media Thursday morning a note handed to him by a fully-vaccinated, 91-year-old client named Warren upon walking into the barber shop for the first time in more than a year. Moore’s Twitter post has since garnered nearly a thousand likes and retweets.

The note was written by Warren’s wife, Maria, and it was presented to Moore in a sealed envelope without Warren knowing its contents.

The note reads:

Hi JT,

I’m so happy to be relinquishing my barber duties — you have no idea! I don’t know what was worse — having to learn on the fly or taking instructions from my client! I’m having a celebration on this day! Here’s a little something so you can have a celebration too. I wish we could celebrate together but COVID still reigns.

Thankful,

Maria

Moore tells ARLnow that Maria wasn’t the only one thankful.

“[Warren] told me ‘Please, don’t tell my wife that you did a better job than her. She’ll be mad,'” he said laughing.

Moore says he opened the card when Warren had left and it came with a “substantial tip” as a thank you, for which he was grateful.

Moore immediately called Maria to thank her.

“She got choked up,” he says. “She explained how difficult it was to cut his hair… [Warren] wanted everything so particular, he made her a nervous wreck. She used YouTube to learn, but there were a lot of anxious moments.”

Moore says Warren has been a long-time customer, whose kids and grandkids have also come to the shop for hair cuts.

Husband and wife were both very much looking forward to the return to the barber shop, but they waited to be vaccinated.

“He got it, waited a few weeks, and got his wife’s permission. Then, he came in,” says Moore, who recently received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as well.

The customer relationship with the couple extends beyond the barbershop. Moore helped the couple pre-COVID with a few tasks around the house, like re-installing smoke detectors, when they lived in Rosslyn. They no longer live in Arlington, but Warren remains a loyal client.

Moore worked at the Arlington Fire Department for 32 years before retiring this past summer. He inherited the barber shop from his dad, who opened it as Arlington’s first integrated barbershop in 1960.

Moore says that business remains slow due to the pandemic, but he’s been getting customers from D.C. and Maryland due to his shop’s strict COVID protocols — like checking customers’ oxygen saturation levels.

The hope is that with more and more people getting vaccinated, come summer, things will return to normal.

“People still aren’t going to work, so getting haircuts is more about looking and feeling good for people they live with,” Moore said.

Or, in Maria’s case, no longer having to cut her husband’s hair.

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