ALTON - Wayne Hensley has become a legend in Downtown Alton at his In Zone Barber Shop with more than 50 years of time at the chair.

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Wayne has been out for a period of time because of open-heart surgery, but he is set to return probably right after Veteran's Day part-time to two days a week. He has been off for about four months. He'll be there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Wayne does haircuts, shaves, and shampoos. The shop is located at 301 E. Broadway, No. 306 in the Mineral Springs complex in Alton.

Since 1964, Wayne has had a loyal customer base. "Customers tell me a lot about their personal lives that I never share with anyone else. I have certainly enjoyed it over the years and have many friends because of cutting hair."

Wayne is a veteran, so Veteran's Day is always an important day for him. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era, but did not serve directly in Vietnam. Wayne remembers over 50 years ago shortly after that time that young people weren't that fond of haircuts, but he said today that has changed.

The Alton man studied at Belleville Barber College prior to opening his business.

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"Many of the young people now want good military-type of haircuts," he said.

Wayne used to do ghost tours at Mineral Springs and said it is one of the epicenters of Alton's ghost activity.

"Alton has at least 100 buildings that have experienced some type of ghost activity," he said. "I have had my own series of experiences with ghosts at Mineral Springs. At first, they try to scare you off, but after a while, they realize you are not going anywhere, and I think some grow to like you a little bit."

Wayne and his wife Joan have had endless love together for almost 60 years as they were married in 1965. The two have three boys, Bryan, Todd, and Eric, and two grandsons.

He said the key to being married for so long is: "I believe we have the same value system and of course, now, we have a lot of history. Joan and my family mean everything to me."

Hensley's shop phone number is (618) 462-4247.

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