TOPEKA (KSNT)- Roger Stirrett is the owner of Hairport in Topeka. He’s been working there since 1989, cutting hair for 50 years. His doctor said he has three to six months to live, but Stirrett is finding joy in his prognosis.
You may have driven past the shop multiple times. It’s quite hard to miss since it’s the one with the mannequin sitting right out front. Or you may have at least met the man behind the Hairport in North Topeka.
There is always a friendly smile on Roger Stirrett’s face, as his clients come in and out. But, behind that smile, is a battle he doesn’t have much control over.
When you go inside, you see flamingos hanging around, family pictures and church pews as people wait for their haircuts.
“I think they’re wonderful,” Stirrett said looking at the pews he purchased on sale. “Because it reminds me of God every day. And I get to bless others and put him first.”
After being sort of forced into buying the shop, it became his. For years, he’s worked in the same chair, seeing his regular clients who he considers as his friends.
“To watch kids grow up, and then you realize you’re getting older,” Stirrett said. “But the kids, it’s like, ‘I remember when you cut my hair when I was little’. It was amazing, you know. It’s really touching to reach out and care for others, to be able to help them.”Roger Stirrett
Let’s go back to the pews. While it’s different to see them in a barbershop, it’s an important meaning for Stirrett. It’s a testament to his faith in a time he needs it the most.
“I have bone cancer, but I’m dealing with it,” Stirrett said.
He recently found out he had a short time to live after he was diagnosed with bone cancer, his second diagnosis in three years. In 2018, he battled kidney cancer which spread to his bones.
When he got the news, he didn’t turn to negative thoughts. In fact, he went back to the place that brings him joy; the Hairport and his clients. Making sure he still is cutting hair for the people he helps the most, and who have helped him the most.
“You know, not everybody could tell you what God’s doing, God’s in control. You know, you get bad news, but it’s good news. There’s a better place. It takes my mind off of it. I’m still able to work with it. It’s in my left shoulder, but, you know I can’t use it.”Roger Stirrett
One thing Stirrett didn’t want to do was keep talking about the past. He wanted to look to the future in a bright way, seeing his future as an opportunity to go to a better place. He is also not doing any treatments, mostly taking care of his health at home.
“You ask me to look back, I’m looking forward,” he said. “It was a wonderful experience for me. You know, you just have to experience life in different ways and you have to understand and make it the right way.”
Stirrett said one thing people can do in his time with us, is to be his friend and a client. He’s looking forward to seeing more clients and still cutting hair.
Hairport is a family business, his son and daughter both work at the shop. He plans to have his son take over the business soon.
Hairport is located at 1015 NW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS. It’s open seven days a week. Phone number: 785-233-7000.