CALALLEN - Duane Rodenberg owner of the Westwood Barber Shop in Calallen has been a local "old school" barber cutting men’s hair in the Coastal Bend since, 1957.
Rodenberg, has seen many changes through the years, although 2020 has been a humdinger- but one thing has stayed the same, his love for service and good business. Rodenberg, is well known throughout the community, and his family and friends say, "He is someone very special to know."
Rodenberg grew up in Prairie Lea, Texas. He started barber school in October, 1955 and was licensed in March, 1956. He spent a little time cutting men’s hair in the Seguin and Luling areas before moving to Coastal Bend in 1957. In January 1957, he started working in Corpus Christi at South Park Barber Shop (SPID & Leopard) and by November 1962 he bought the Westwood Barber Shop from his brother Clarence Morgan Rodenberg.
Westwood Shopping Center opened December 1959 and the Westwood Barber shop opened in 1961.
"I have worked at this shop since 1961 and never taken more than a few days off for a long weekend. When we closed for seven weeks during the pandemic, I was ready to come back to work, all the ’honey do’s’ were more work then being here at the barber shop, " jokingly said Duane Rodenberg.
Rodenberg, now 81 years old is known for his big heart and friends from all around. "We can take to trip to Houston or anywhere out of town and go out to eat and sure enough an old friend will come up and give him a big hug-he knows so many people and has clients of generations," said daughter in-law Donna Rodenberg. "Before the coronavirus he would go to Hospitals and give an ’old school’ shave and cut, he gives to local schools and is just a genuinely caring person."
"He has been cutting my hair since the 1970’s back when I was still in high school," said long time client Rick Shadle. "Now at the age of 62, no one has ever cut my hair except for Duane."
Rodenberg and his crew now consist of two other barbers, Ray Candela and Henry Garza. Candela, has worked with Rodenberg at the barber shop for close to 50 years. The barber shop crew states business was really good when the shop first opened on May 18, and has been steady since.
As the world changes and moves fast, Westwood Barber Shop in Calallen will still do an ’old school’ men’s cut and shave. During these unique times as businesses large and small will either succeed or fail, it looks like decades of community service will probably prevail.