Commute’s long, but Reno man finds his niche as sole barber in Fernley |

Commute’s long, but Reno man finds his niche as sole barber in Fernley

Mary Jean Kelso
Nevada Appeal News Service

Mary Jean Kelso/Nevada Appeal News Service Fernley's new and now only barber, Charles Porter, gives Don Thomas of Fernley a trim. Charlie's Country Barbershop opened Sept. 2 at 25 W. Main St. Fernley residents fill the shop daily, waiting in line for the door to open at 9 a.m., keeping Porter busy until quittin' time at 6 p.m.

FERNLEY – While many residents here make the arduous trek to Reno each morning and back home each evening for their employment, Charles Porter does just the reverse. He commutes from Reno five days a week to Fernley to work in the barbershop he owns at 25 W. Main St.

Porter’s shop is the only barbershop in town, now that the previous owner and the owner of a second barbershop have retired. Porter purchased the shop more than two months ago when the owner wanted to retire.

He renamed it Charlie’s Country Barbershop and opened for business Sept. 2.

Why doesn’t he move to Fernley?

“Then my wife would have to commute from here to Reno.”

Porter’s wife, Paulette, a professional singer for many years, is the executive chef for The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows in Reno. Until Porter went into business for himself, he was the athletic director there for several years.

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Porter attended Reno High School, where he was involved in sports and played football as a running back until his graduation in 1968. After graduation, he went on to play football for the University of Nevada, Reno.

“I coached Pop Warner football for the little guys.” Porter said about his career working with young people at the Boys & Girls Club. “I coached one of my own boys from the time he was small through high school.”

That son, Issac, played sports of all types at Reno’s Hug High School, where he received the Player of the Year award. Currently, he is playing football at Butte College in Chico, Calif.

The third of the Porter’s sons is a musician who played in the band at school and now is a vocalist performing under the name Cliff Porter with Cliff Notes. The elder Porter stocks Cliff’s CDs at his barbershop.

When asked why he was barbering now instead of coaching, Charles Porter said, “I got tired of working for other people. I was just waiting for an opportunity to come up to start my own business.”

His oldest son, whom Charles calls Pokey, owns the Top Notch barbershop in Sparks. He convinced his father to enter the trade.

Porter attended barber school in Sacramento, and after seven months, set out to find his own business.

“It was too expensive to buy a barbershop in Reno. I figured Fernley was a small town that was growing fast and would be a good place to go into business,” Porter said.

And he must be right. When the shop opens in the morning, several people are already waiting in line for a haircut.

Charlie’s Country Barbershop is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays – unless the eastbound lane of I-80 is clogged with accidents to slow his commute.