By Micah Mitchell
WATER VALLEY – Home grown patriotism is alive and well in Water Valley Mississippi. Aaron Holder, a son, friend, brother, husband of 54 years, gets up every morning and raises the American flag outside of Clip, Snip and Curl hair salon located on Water Valley’s beautiful Main Street. This is a daily activity that Mr. Holder cherishes and chooses to do.
Growing up in the 1930s, Mr. Holder saw his fair share of hard times. In a sense he is living an American dream. He started working at the age of 12 years-old in the National Youth Administration Camps back in the 1930s to help pull the country out of the Depression.
“We helped everyone back then and we worked. It was the only thing we knew. That’s what this country was and is made of. I remember getting home from school changing clothes and working in the cotton field. I got old enough and had to make a living for myself, ” said Mr. Holder.
He started out working in the National Youth Administration Camp, which was designed to provide work and training for unmarried teenage boys in the 1930s. He held several jobs such as welding and working on river boats. In the 1940’s he moved to Memphis, and worked for Kroger Foods as head butcher. While at Kroger he met the love of his life, Mrs. Bernice Holder. Eventually wanting a change in pace he became a barber and moved to his wife’s hometown of Water Valley.
For the last 44 years, Mr. Holder has been pursuing his passion for cutting hair and working hard. In his lifetime, he has owned several barber shops in Water Valley. He once tried to retire in 1988 when he sold his shop to Mr. David Wells. However, he still worked part-time as a barber which gave him time to travel with his wife. He also pursued his passion for aviation.
“I loved to fly, I was actually an instructor. I can remember bringing a kid up teaching him how to fly and we ran out of gas. There was snow on the ground and no place to land, but in a cotton field. I taught him how to safely maneuver the plane for a landing. The kid was scared, but I wasn’t. There was no need!” said Mr. Holder.
This great-grandfather of four isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He went from part-time barber to co-owner of Clip, Snip and Curl.
“You can’t keep a good man down!” said Mrs. Cathy Dunn, co-owner of Clip, Snip and Curl. “We were just sitting around one day throwing out name for the business. Mr. Holder said, “How about Clip, Snip, and Curl? It stuck!” said Mrs. Dunn
When asked why he raises and takes down the flag everyday he says, “It stands for what I believe in and what many still believe in today. It reminds us that we should not lose hope. No matter how much life changes or how bad the country gets. I pray that we never lose hope.”