Life Lessons From The Depression
The Barber of Charleston
By Kendall Conger


To order The Barber of Charleston, by Kendall Conger, please send check or money order in the amount of $10 plus $3 shipping to:

Kendall Conger
422 Marlowe Road
Raleigh, NC 24609

The Barber of Charleston
A Southern Lion Paperback

In historic Charleston, South Carolina, Lawrence “Papa” Conger, perched behind the main chair in the Francis Marion Barbershop to the great delight of his customers. This wise old barber stood as a monument of traditional Americana values, a distinguished and respected gentleman of the South who boasted no fame, pretensions, or social position. He entertained his customers for over thirty years with home-spun tall tales and strong opinion—all dispensed with equal amounts of piety, charm, grace, and humor. As a former Depression-era Georgia farmer, Papa Conger was a model of unfailing faith and cheerfulness—enlarging hearts with his earthly frankness and elevated ideals.

The Barber of Charleston pays tribute to a time when waiting in line for a haircut was an opportunity for good conversation among friends, and when looking “tip-top” was a personal mantra. Riddled with real-life examples of the strength grown from personal trials and tribulations, readers will enjoy Papa’s practical lessons about the gradual renunciation of life’s deceits, the ennobling influence of sorrow, and the triumph of faith over death or loss. Proud as a canary, Papa shows that vigilance in frugality is no shame and smart economy is no disgrace for in his words, “It is better living on a little, than out-living a great deal.”

In this halcyon world of our forefathers, there’s time for Papa to point out the miraculous in the common and profundity in the simple things. To every woman Papa would say with glee, “The only thing wrong with you– is that you are too pretty.” He was a gentleman by instinct, not by social position and an idealistic dreamer who made the beautiful world more accessible to us all. At this old-style barbershop, men could meet and interact on an equal and informal basis and observant boys could learn to be men. The life lessons dispensed by this beloved barber are not to be forgotten.


The author, Kendall Conger of Raleigh, North Carolina, is the grandson of the Barber of Charleston who he knew only as “Papa.”