There are no rules of the game when the objective is to spread light in people’s lives, contribute to the society, and eventually to make this world a better place to live. Regardless of age, sex, location and and all such barriers, you can set off upfront with your own idea of helping people, and while being satisfyied over the act, you can simply wonder why you did not start earlier. However, there is no right time to start making a difference in the life of people around you and this has been rightly proven by Anthony Cymerys, a yesteryear businessman who can be seen busy cutting hair in Hartford, Conn. at no charge!
Cymerys dedicates his Wednesday to the noble cause of cutting hair for free at the Bushnell Park in Hartford. His amenities for his job are nothing more than a Clipper, a lawn chair where he would ask his visitors to sit, and a battery to keep the clippers powered up. But even more than that, his biggest amenity is the commitment which pushes him every week to this park and to get involved wholeheartedly. And all he has to exchange after the haircut is a hug and not a dime more than a ‘thank you’.
This 82 year old gentleman has been into this rare act of charity for last twenty five years and has special mention that majority of his visitors are either homeless or are penniless. Amongst all those, a big number comprises of veterans and Cymerys has real pain in stating this – few of them have been regularly coming to him for last two decades.
For Anthony Cymerys, who has served the Army for 2 years early one, generosity is an inherent expression. He was entrusted as high as fifty missions in the second World War which he successfully accomplished. Right through the 90’s, he has been delivering food at the shelters and senior homes for which he used to collect the prior day’s bread from supermarkets and distribute it to veteran homes. He has been a regular member on the blood donator list of Red Cross association and even further, operates an own blood bank.
Today, renowned as ‘Joe the Barber’, he recalls one of the heart throbbing incidents associated with his charitable-park-based barbershop. A security guard posted in the neighboring Connecticut State Capitol premises had intentions to pull him out of the park with police’s intervention. However, the community came forward in his favor and rallied to make sure this barbershop ran as usual. In addition, there are several thrilling moments such as homeless veterans showing their love for him through some goodies like old cloths, something to eat or sometime a kiss on the forehead!
Anthony Cymerys today has a sister named Julie who is 96 and an elder brother who is 98 years old to take care at home. Without any grudges, he is still enchanted with his involvement and is grateful to point out that people from all ages and economic statuses gladly come to him and that his park based barbershop is a haircut saloon which denies all manmade or professional barriers. He adds, “It is a ‘feel good’ factor all the way – for me, for my visitor and even for those who are watching me provide them a haircut!