Rodney Smith continued a long community tradition last week when he held his annual Customer Appreciation Day Thanksgiving lunch at his Blades Barber Shop in Manvel.

Smith has held the event since 1985 and began hosting it at his cozy barber shop on Highway 6 when he first moved the business to Manvel in 2005. He stayed up most of the night before cooking numerous dishes and sides and many community members brought potluck additions, especially desserts. Ham, roast turkey, dressing, collard greens, Cajun rice, gumbo and numerous desserts could be seen.

“It’s giving back to the community and that’s what I do,” Smith said.

Smith’s event can lay an easy claim that it brings people together from far and wide. Fannie Richardson flew back from her new home of two years in Anchorage, Alaska to help and have Thanksgiving lunch at Blades. She provided the roast turkey.

Manvel Mayor Debra Davison said Blades has been an integral part of Manvel for 14 years. The shop is known for being more than just a place to have a haircut. Smith, a committed Christian, creates a space for camaraderie that brings people from Manvel, Alvin, Fresno and beyond together. Davison said she always wondered why it would take her nephew so long to get a haircut.

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