One day in 1983, the year Vivian Smith's family bought the little, red, oddly shaped building on Old Concord Road, a stranger with a slim build and a nice smile walked in and rested his 80-year-old bones in a chair.
He didn't want a haircut, which for the Smiths, a family of barbers, was odd since they had turned the place into a barbershop.
Instead, he wanted to share his memories of the tiny cottage they now owned.
As he told it, Smith recalled, the structure at one time belonged to the old fair down the street. It was next to the carousel, and as a child, he remembered with delight all of the fair foods created inside.
"The windows and everything, the way he described it," said Smith. "They shot out the popcorn and the caramel corn and the candy apples."
She always believed him.
"It looks like that kind of building," said Smith, pointing to the three long windows in front of the shop she now calls Artistic Hair Designs.
No one really is sure if what the elderly man said was true. From the 1930s to the 1950s the Southern States Fair did stand at the corner of North Tryon Street and Sugarcreek Road.
And from time to time, clients who have lived their entire lives here will reminisce and share blurry childhood memories of nearby Ferris wheel and carousel rides from their youth.
They wonder if the place where their now white hairs are clipped could be the same place where they took candy apples from the window 60 years before.
The little shack was not of much importance for the Smiths when they first bought the land.
The old building came with the property. The former owners used it for their sewing business.
Back then, it wasn't wired with electricity, so the seamstress ran an extension cord from the main house.
Smith's father added electricity, plumbing and a fresh coat of paint. The barber shop chairs came from the shop he owned in Saginaw, Mich., during the 1950s.
Not much else has changed on the inside. The original wood floors still creak. Oldies on the record player, mostly gospel ones given by a long-since-passed preacher, play while Smith's clientele take in the old-fashioned treatments of a barbershop from years ago.
This is what keeps customers returning, said Smith.
"Everybody who comes in here says it reminds them of years ago," she said. "They like the simplicity."
"She keeps me coming back," said George Rutledge, 66, who stops in regularly after work for a haircut and beard trim.
With a hot towel, a lathered neck and quick shave, Smith finishes with a splash of green tonic from a long narrow bottle.
"When they come in, they come back, usually," she said.
Smith wishes she had asked more questions the day that elderly man walked through her door.