Local barbers remember the manager they loved

Rockys2

This picture of Bob and Pat Wingo is a recent addition to the walls at Rocky’s II in Sharpsburg. The picture of Bob and Pat is a way for this team of barbers to remember their loved one who made the shop what it is today. (Photo by Danny Harrison)

You might say that the Rocky’s II in Downtown Sharpsburg is the barber shop that love built.

When you walk through the door, it may not immediately strike the casual customer as being a different kind of place, but barbers Amanda Pettit, Alicia Copeland, Bob Wingo and Kelly Wingo (no relation) know the difference, and they miss her.

Pat Wingo was the difference. She was Bob’s wife of 31 years and his business partner. When she died of cancer last October, the hole she left in the hearts of her family and friends is now being filled by the memories she left behind.

“She loved her customers,” remembers childhood friend Beverly Nochols, who first met Pat back when they were students at Brown High School in Atlanta’s West End.

Amanda Pettit, one of the barbers Pat hired back when Rocky’s II was still in Downtown Senoia, added, “She remembered everybody’s name when they came in the door. We miss that.”

And fellow barber Alicia Copeland says the name Pat gave the few people she didn’t know was “Honey.”

Bob and Pat first met when Bob was running the drive-in restaurant Joe Wingo’s, which Bob’s father of that same name founded years earlier. Bob hired Pat as a waitress, and their friendship began.

Years later, Pat moved to Carrollton and worked at Fairfield Plantation. After both of them went through divorces, Bob says he went out to Carrollton to see Pat, “And we had been together ever since.”

When Bob and Pat bought the little barber shop on Main Street in Senoia, they renamed it Rocky’s II, and Pat became the manager. Bob continued running the original Rocky’s, which had been established back in 1968 in Fayetteville.

The Senoia location would remain open for nine years before Rocky’s II moved to Sharpsburn in 2012, and just as things had been in Senoia, Bob says Pat made him know she was the manager.

“If I ever went to move something, she would say, ‘This is my shop. You go back to your shop.'”

Bossy, maybe, but Bob says Pat was a servant at heart.

Pat’s colleagues tell of a time when a local customer had rescued a mother and ten children from an abusive domestic situation out of state, Pat organized an effort to provide all of the kids with haircuts and the clothes and other things they would need to start school here.

“She took care of everybody,” Amanda says. “She took good care of us.”

Part of that care came in the form of coffee.

“She made the best coffee ever,” Amanda says.

Apparently, that coffee, just like Pat’s personality, was strong and rich. “We called her brew ‘Wingo Coffee’,” Amanda added.

Pat was also known to support local student sports whether it be a football team, a cheerleading squad or even an Olympic-minded archer.

“She supported everyone who came through the door,” Bob says.

One young customer thrived so much on the warm atmosphere of the shop that he became somewhat of a permanent fixture himself. Justin Miller, now an adult, remembers being a kid getting his hair cut a couple of blocks away from his home in Senoia.

“One day, after I got my hair cut, I picked up a broom and started sweeping up hair,” Justin says. And that turned into a near daily thing to do after school.

“It also got me out of doing chores back at home, too,” Justin laughs.

Coincidentally, around the same time Rocky’s moved from Senoia to Sharpsburg, so did Justin’s family. He continues to be a local fixture in the shop.

It was more than two years after the Rocky’s II crew settled into Sharpsburg that they learned Pat had cancer. And as it turned out, from the day of the grim diagnosis to the day they would lose her, they would only have Pat around six more weeks.

Pat immediately underwent chemotherapy, but it was too painful for her to continue. Hers was a stage-four diagnosis, so at best she was looking at delaying the inevitable. Pat cancelled her future treatments.

“She said she would rather have the quality rather than the time,” says Beverly.

A few weeks ago on a Sunday, Bob took a picture of himself and Pat and placed it on the wall by the cash register. It’s one of the few of many items decorating the walls that Pat didn’t personally choose, and Bob says that Pat, though a beautiful woman, didn’t really like having her photo taken.

Gratefully, Pat agreed to stand for that one photograph taken just after their first Senoia Christmas parade back in 2012. For the crew at Rocky’s II, it is a reminder of what still makes their shop so special.

You might say that the Rocky’s II in Downtown Sharpsburg is the barber shop that love built.

When you walk through the door, it may not immediately strike the casual customer as being a different kind of place, but barbers Amanda Pettit, Alicia Copeland, Bob Wingo and Kelly Wingo (no relation) know the difference, and they miss her.

Pat Wingo was the difference. She was Bob’s wife of 31 years and his business partner. When she died of cancer last October, the hole she left in the hearts of her family and friends is now being filled by the memories she left behind.

“She loved her customers,” remembers childhood friend Beverly Nochols, who first met Pat back when they were students at Brown High School in Atlanta’s West End.

Amanda Pettit, one of the barbers Pat hired back when Rocky’s II was still in Downtown Senoia, added, “She remembered everybody’s name when they came in the door. We miss that.”

And fellow barber Alicia Copeland says the name Pat gave the few people she didn’t know was “Honey.”

Bob and Pat first met when Bob was running the drive-in restaurant Joe Wingo’s, which Bob’s father of that same name founded years earlier. Bob hired Pat as a waitress, and their friendship began.

Years later, Pat moved to Carrollton and worked at Fairfield Plantation. After both of them went through divorces, Bob says he went out to Carrollton to see Pat, “And we had been together ever since.”

When Bob and Pat bought the little barber shop on Main Street in Senoia, they renamed it Rocky’s II, and Pat became the manager. Bob continued running the original Rocky’s, which had been established back in 1968 in Fayetteville.

The Senoia location would remain open for nine years before Rocky’s II moved to Sharpsburn in 2012, and just as things had been in Senoia, Bob says Pat made him know she was the manager.

“If I ever went to move something, she would say, ‘This is my shop. You go back to your shop.'”

Bossy, maybe, but Bob says Pat was a servant at heart.

Pat’s colleagues tell of a time when a local customer had rescued a mother and ten children from an abusive domestic situation out of state, Pat organized an effort to provide all of the kids with haircuts and the clothes and other things they would need to start school here.

“She took care of everybody,” Amanda says. “She took good care of us.”

Part of that care came in the form of coffee.

“She made the best coffee ever,” Amanda says.

Apparently, that coffee, just like Pat’s personality, was strong and rich. “We called her brew ‘Wingo Coffee’,” Amanda added.

Pat was also known to support local student sports whether it be a football team, a cheerleading squad or even an Olympic-minded archer.

“She supported everyone who came through the door,” Bob says.

One young customer thrived so much on the warm atmosphere of the shop that he became somewhat of a permanent fixture himself. Justin Miller, now an adult, remembers being a kid getting his hair cut a couple of blocks away from his home in Senoia.

“One day, after I got my hair cut, I picked up a broom and started sweeping up hair,” Justin says. And that turned into a near daily thing to do after school.

“It also got me out of doing chores back at home, too,” Justin laughs.

Coincidentally, around the same time Rocky’s moved from Senoia to Sharpsburg, so did Justin’s family. He continues to be a local fixture in the shop.

It was more than two years after the Rocky’s II crew settled into Sharpsburg that they learned Pat had cancer. And as it turned out, from the day of the grim diagnosis to the day they would lose her, they would only have Pat around six more weeks.

Pat immediately underwent chemotherapy, but it was too painful for her to continue. Hers was a stage-four diagnosis, so at best she was looking at delaying the inevitable. Pat cancelled her future treatments.

“She said she would rather have the quality rather than the time,” says Beverly.

A few weeks ago on a Sunday, Bob took a picture of himself and Pat and placed it on the wall by the cash register. It’s one of the few of many items decorating the walls that Pat didn’t personally choose, and Bob says that Pat, though a beautiful woman, didn’t really like having her photo taken.

Gratefully, Pat agreed to stand for that one photograph taken just after their first Senoia Christmas parade back in 2012. For the crew at Rocky’s II, it is a reminder of what still makes their shop so special.

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About

Danny Harrison, a 1992 Fayette High School graduate, began his journalism career with Fayette County News in 1995. After taking several leaves of absence to pursue journalism and Christian ministry opportunities, including a few out of state and overseas, he returned full-time to Fayette County News in August 2014. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry in 2009 while serving as a missionary journalist in England and Western Europe.


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