Friday, February 11, 2011

Leonard Santos -

Danville's Barber for 50 years in 2011

Leonard Santos will complete 50 years as a barber in Danville, Virginia in September of 2011. Another long-time barber George McCormick owned the barber shop in the new Nor Dan Shopping Center on Piney Forest Road when it opened in 1961. Leonard was there and the openning is still there almost 50 years later. Leonard was born and raised in a village named Indang, not so far from Minila in the Philippines. He served as barber on an aircraft carrier in the U. S. Navy before settling in Danville.

Leonard Santos in this NorDan Barber Shop (Jan। 2011) Leonard was a boy of ten years old when World War II broke out. The Japanese, who occupied the area where he lived, were sometimes cruel and vicious. The Santos family were Christians. Leonard’s father Benjamin joined the local church in 1941, just as the difficult times of the War began. He later became a pastor.

Living with the Santos family, at that time, was a Presbyterian missionary named Miss Hodge. The family also helped a Naval officer, who was at a nearby American base, but seems to have been retired. He was very sick and soon died. He hid out in a nearby cave with the support of the Santos family. Neighbors warmed them that the Japanese might kill them for helping Americans.

The Santos house in the Philippine Islands. The Santos family. Leonard is bottom left and his father Benjamin third from left at top in hat. In the center is Miss Hodge, a Presbyterian missionary. All these extended family members lived in this house, except three. Banadero 1940s

Benjamin Santos (Lolo Jamin - grandfather Benjamin) is second from left.

Danny Ricketts, email

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Danny thank you so much for all the work and time you put into research and posting it. I was born in Danville in 1964 and now reside in Sunset Beach NC. I have fond memories of Nor Dan barber shop as a little lad growing up near by. My father the late Homer Thomasson aka Homer T or my mother Nadine Thomasson always took us boys to this barber shop and would see Mr Santos or Bill the barber.They were so nice and to see this history about Santos, as we called him, is fascinating.
    Thanks again. Your work is better than any history book I'll ever read.
    Sincerely, Rodney Thomasson