April 30, 2021 by Brooks Robbins
If you have lived in Hingham a while, you or a member of your family likely knew Pete – an institution in this town. He owned and operated Pete’s Barber Shop for many decades in Hingham Center. Moms, dads, and kids stopped by to get haircuts with uninterrupted regularity. Along with Steve Spears, who bought the business when Pete retired, and Charlotte Adams, they were a great team. Anyone coming through the door turned into a friend. Pete got to know, remember and care about the families of several generations of his clients. The shop was a very homey place, unrushed and comfortable. If you had a wait ahead, so what. There were always intriguing people with whom to chat, which made the day more interesting for everyone.
Pete left his ‘chair’ several years ago, but many of us didn’t know that he also left us about seven weeks ago. His family, not wanting to make a stir in this time of the coronavirus said a quiet good-bye. I don’t believe there was a printed obituary, but in case you missed it, a very nice piece was written in 2020 for The Hingham Anchor on Pete’s 102nd birthday. It describes, among other things, the celebration, featuring a gigantic drive-by of cars and trucks past his house displaying colorful balloons, kids and dogs hanging out the windows, and noisy expressions of gratitude -- it's worth a read.
“They don’t make 'em like they used to.”
2 thoughts on “A tribute to Pete Rando”
What a sad story to wake up to today. Pete Rando has been cutting my hair for almost 30 years, my son’s for 20, and he was part of the family – he even made it onto one of our Christmas cards!
My last haircut with Pete was in February, just before the pandemic changed our lives. I’ve been cutting my own hair since then, and I was looking forward to Pete’s comments and advice – and some of his regular stories.
So many memories…he would store extra tomatoes from his XL garden in an old grill under the tree for his clients, and some wld come back to him in a tomato-basil-garlic tart; the bottles of “hair tonic” he would be sure to pass out; joining the wine making team a few times, and bringing my teenage son once, to be the “grinder;” and, of course his stories…he traded houses with a client, so he could walk to his shop and not buy a second car; the fiscal and investment advice he received from well known financial advisors; there were his ‘classics’ about tending to his uncle’s chickens, and one year raising a some Christmas turkeys to raise a little extra money; and, I even heard a new one last year, that he would go running in World’s End.
So many more stories and happy memories with Pete Rando. He was an institution, and another piece of Hingham to say goodbye to.
(Dr.) Richard Friedman
Just yesterday I was thinking I should give Pete a call and see how he was doing. Living now in Brookline, it was almost an hour to get my haircut. But it was more than just a haircut. It was an experience. So many times he verbalized his coming to America. and his early life……..Learning to speak English….making a living with chickens……..driving a car.
Where else after he was done with my haircut would you be offered by someone tomatoes or a bottle of red wine (no sulfites) .
Another chapter in our lives over. The memories will always be there.