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Audio from Albany: 101-year-old barber Anthony Mancinelli

As part of a regular weekly feature on the Politics Now blog, Tom Precious of The News' Albany Bureau posts an audio interview with a newsmaker from the Capitol.


ALBANY — There are all sorts of people who come through the state Capitol every day — but none who can boast of beginning a career of haircutting when Calvin Coolidge was in the White House.

Meet Anthony Mancinelli, who Tuesday was enjoying, as he noted, his 101st year alive — plus 2 months and 26 days — by having the state Senate honor him with a resolution as the world's oldest practicing barber.

It's a distinction the Guinness World Book of Records first bestowed five years ago upon Mancinelli, who is still cutting hair at a shop in Orange County south of Newburgh.

Barber"Excuse me," Mancinelli said as he turned my head, as only a barber can twist a head, to critique a recent haircut I was given. His opinion: unimpressed.

"I don't go for that square back," he said.

(The encouraging news: a 101-year-old said I was not old and can still have a younger hair style.)

Born in Italy and cutting his first hair for pay at the age of 12, Mancinelli has seen all the trendy styles, all the different clients and all the different kinds of demands.

With two weeks to go before the end of 2012 legislative session, we could talk about the hundreds of bills that will be enacted in the final flurry at the Capitol. Or, we can take a brief break, and listen to Mancinelli — called a "true asset to society" by the Senate resolution — talk about how to cut a musician's hair the right way, the art of customer satisfaction and how a barber clearly doesn't rely on big tips to make ends meet.

--Tom Precious

Listen to the full conversation with Mancinelli here:

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