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Businesses are open on Walter Street

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Although Walter Street is a one-way trip from Wichman street to Hampton street that most motorists use as a path to get from one point to another, at least two of the business that line this roadway are doing well.

Hodges Barber and Beauty Shop, located at 326 North Walter Street has been open since the mid-1950’s. “My grandmother’s husband, Woodrow Hodges, cut hair here for a long time. He was also a magistrate court judge for a long time. He passed away in 1997, and he cut hair almost up to that time, for many, many years,” said current co-owner Ferrell Hodges. Ferrell started cutting hair in order to keep the business going. “I came in ’97 to continue the business. I’m his grandson.”

Business has always been good at Hodges Barber Shop. “This was one of the first barber shops in Walterboro, and this street once had many businesses that did very well, Ferrell said. “There was once a fish market, a furniture store, and a shoe repair shop, and all of those businesses did well. This street was very busy at that time.”

The shop currently has five barbers besides Ferrell. He said that some of the barbers that have started at his shop in the past have gone on to start their own businesses.

Ferrell noted he has customers that have stayed loyal through many years of getting their hair cut at his shop. “This is a family-oriented business. Kids grow up and have kids, they come in, and it just goes down the line though the generations. Business is good. We’ve had loyal customers for years.”

The shop is also a social center, of sorts. Ferrell said that retired people come around and pass the time for awhile. “For some, this is more like a social place where people come to spend time,” Ferrell said.

Standing out in Front of his shop, Ferrell gazed up and down the street, perhaps remembering the past and thinking about the future. “The remodeling looks good. I’m glad they did downtown over. It really looks good,” Ferrell said. He was referring to the recent revitalization project that the City of Walterboro had done to the Downtown area.

He looked to his left, and saw a trash can that was recently installed along the street. “I just wish that the trash can could have been placed closer to open businesses. It’s just sitting over there in an open area, and I’m worried that people aren’t going to use it,” He added he would also like to see a Walterboro Public Safety Office foot patrol person to patrol the downtown area. “If they were walking around, they could really see what was going on.”

Overall, Ferrell is pleased with his time on Walter Street. “I try to be friendly and fair with prices. This makes the customers happy, so they come back and their kids come back. What you do carries on to other people.

The second business in which the owner was interviewed has been open since 1999. Exit 57, located at 323 North Walter Street, is owned by Walterboro resident Jamaal Jones. The shop sells CDs, clothing, and other specialty items, such as incense. “We sell CDS and clothing at good prices.” Jamaal said.

He said business has been doing fairly well over the past 13-plus years for a business that is located on a one-way side street. “It doesn’t seem to affect business at all,” he noted.

He said that he has customer base that is fairly much the same. “I have pretty much of a set clientele. Everyone who is into music knows I’m here.” Jamaal specializes in hip hop and R&B CDs, but noted that he can get just about anything music-wise. “If anyone needs a certain CD, I can get it.”

Although Jamaal isn’t making a killing in the music and clothing industry, he’s doing all right. “I’m making enough to live and get by,” he said.