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Inside/Out: Kids in the Hall

Vilna Pool Hall and Barbershop

Jun 1, 2011

by Robin Schroffel

photograph by Jason Everitt

The Beatles may have popularized rock ’n’ roll in North America, but Bill Taschuk always maintained that their mop-headed hairstyles killed the barbershop business in the process. Even so, the late proprietor of the 1921 Vilna Pool Hall and Barbershop kept it running until he retired in 1997, after which point the Vilna Pool Hall Society took over operations. Things have changed quite a bit over the years; for example, women weren’t always welcome in the establishment. Violet Preston, a Vilna-area farm girl who spent the winter of 1947 with the Taschuks while attending Grade 9 in town, recalls having to settle for covert glimpses through the door that separated the home and the pool hall. Today, though, junior high students of both sexes play pool during their lunch breaks on the four pre-Second World War tables – and the barber just happens to be a woman.


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