AVONDALE ESTATES, Ga. (WXIA) – The biggest family tradition in Avondale Estates is an old-time barbershop.
"The old-time barber shop was more than just a place to trim hair," said Trina Burkowsky of The Brass Chair Barber Shop. "'Twas a jolly club to learn the news and meet your friends and cronies there."
The Brass Chair Barber Shop feels like history – featuring a museum's worth of artifacts.
"People say, like this guy said, it's like the old Mayberry," said Trina's sister Lisa Whiddon. "The cash register was made in 1930."
"Old gold leaf mirrors – they were made from 1890 to 1902," said Trina.
But the star of this story is the barber himself – Billy Don Graves.
"When my dad was in his prime," Trina said. "They would say there wasn't any better barber than Don."
Don opened the barber shop in downtown Atlanta 45 years ago. He later relocated to Avondale Estates. His daughters, Trina and Lisa, joined him.
"My dad spent endless hours shining these chairs," Trina said. "He always wanted to have a shop and all of his kids cutting hair – and that's what it ended up being."
But not for long. Trina left to start her own shop. Then, a few years ago, Don became suddenly and extremely sick. Within months, he passed away at age 74.
"I guess the thought that my dad wanted it to continue on," said Lisa.
That's been the goal ever since. Trina has returned. She and Lisa have indeed continued on.
"He'd feel bad because he didn't really have anything to leave us but the shop. We always told him, 'Daddy, you can't leave us anything better than the shop,'" Trina said. "He built this for us, carried it on all these years, and there's no way I'm gonna let it go."