I almost named this chapter “The Nuts of Newark,” but then thought it might be unfair. After all, just because someone is a tad askew, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re insane.
I think post 1995 the City of Newark has either changed something in the water supply, or something else is going on where eccentrics are gravitating to Main Street, or even on campus. I say “post '95,” because I simply don’t remember actually seeing most of the Newark, DE characters I’ve heard about since I left.
Anyway, from what the kids have told me, it’s almost like UD has its own cast of obscure characters (akin to The Simpsons) including but not limited to: Aluminum Can Hobbit Guy, Backwards Walking Lady, Cat Guy, Communist Sign Lady, Dead Lizard Guy, Duct Tape Shoe Guy, Einstein, Jesus Guy, The Mad Clapper, Preacher Guy, Shirtless Dog Running Whistling Guy, Talks to Himself Guy, Tricycle Guy, and Zippy the Homeless Guy.
However, a legitimate Main Street businessman who I’d like to assign a special achievement award to, is the one, the only...
Walt’s shop was Scissors Palace at 65 East Main Street. Yep, it’s still there.
When I started UD, I’d hear about this, “Old barber dude with a million dirty jokes, who guaranteed you’d get a blow job with his haircut.” Which to me, sounded like he was the one actually offering to blow you. No thanks.
What Walt meant, of course, was that you’d look SO good after one of his haircuts, that women would find you irresistible. In a September 1993 interview with Review writer Brian Hickey, Walt guaranteed your love life would improve by 20% with one of his haircuts…however, it wasn’t a money back guarantee. He also claimed that one guy got attacked by a bunch of women when he walked out of Scissors Palace with a new haircut.
That was Walt at age 67, and he’d been cutting hair there since 1953. He only took walk-ins, and most of his business was from students. I understand that he finally retired in the late '90s, and then was unfortunately killed in a car accident circa 2001. Walt the Barber, R.I.P.
“He’d ask me, ‘Do you want a one, a two, a three, or a four?’ And I had no idea what he was talking about. What he meant was, how short did I want him to cut my hair? Did I want to come back for another haircut in one week, two weeks, three weeks, or four weeks?”
- Darin H, UD '94
“Walt would always tell me, ‘This haircut will get you laid.’ I remember telling him that I'll be back for a haircut everyday if that was the case. He always had a full waiting room when I was at UD (1984 - 1990), so I eventually drifted over to Ralph's.”
- Kevin F, UD '90
“In one sitting, how many times would he ask you if you were going to, 'LAY A LOT OF PIPE THAT WEEKEND?!'”
- Keith W, UD '98
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