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Barber Story | Angel Delgadillo

With Angel Delgadillo we can probably present a barber story with the longest serving active barber in the world. Angel looks back on a long eventful life in his profession. But that‘s not even what he‘s most known for. Angel is the central figure and a celebrity in the fight to preserve historic Route 66 - the old artery that connected U.S. states in the East to the West Coast.

This mother of all American roads, whose route goes back to the settler era and which today is still the ultimate dream not only of every Harley rider. Born in 1927 in Seligman / Arizona, Angel had still experienced the passage of hundreds of thousands of farm workers who, fleeing the „Great Depression“ as a result of several years of drought, moved from Oklahoma and Texas to the plantations in California. John Steinbeck had set a literary monument to these people in his 1939 novel, Grapes of Wrath. By 1978, old Route 66 had initially become meaningless with the opening of Interstate Highway 40. Places like Seligman were cut off from tourism and commercial traffic virtually overnight and threatened to become almost completely deserted. But Angel and his comrades- in-arms refused to accept this. They fought resolutely for nine long years until Route 66 was finally recognized as a „State Historic Route“ in 1987. From his wealth of experience, there is one message above all that Angel wants to pass on to younger generations: „It wasn‘t politicians who did it for us. It was us: the people. If you want to do something, don‘t ask your neighbor what he thinks about it first. Just do it.“ His commitment to Route 66 has earned him the John Steinbeck Award, among other honors. Because of his expertise, he was also called upon as a consultant for the 2006 Pixar animated film Cars.

But Angel is not just a living legend. He‘s two living legends. In 2015, he was inducted into the Barbers Hall of Fame. He‘s had four generations of Seligman families in his chair. With what his customers have told him while barbering, he could put 50% of Seligman residents in jail he says, laughing. But there‘s no danger in that. „Love, tenderness and care“ is his motto in life, or put another way, and also catchy, „Life is about giving, not taking.“ Nothing fulfills him more than a customer who leaves his chair satisfied. And that is a happiness for both sides.

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