Anthony Cymerys, 82, who goes by Joe, was an accountant by trade, but he always loved to cut hair. And every Wednesday night, rain or shine, snow or sleet, Joe shares his love with the down and out of Hartford.
Many of the homeless and less fortunate gather at Bushnell Park to sit in Joe’s barber chair, which is a lawn chair. A car battery with an inverter powers the clippers.
Joe accepts nothing in return for his haircuts, except one thing – a hug. That’s all he needs.
“If wealth was measured in terms of friends and hugs and love, I’m already a billionaire, you know really,” Joe said.
Regulars call Joe an angel. Hair stylist Tanisha Akinloye calls him an inspiration. Joe inspired her to join him in the park to groom men into feel better about themselves.
“Coming out here, taking the time to empower these men is just amazing,” Akinloye said.
Feeling good is looking good, and it always feels good, Joe knows, to be loved.
“I always said there’s more love in this park than in the whole state of Connecticut,” he said.