By ANNE MARIE TOBIN
Sometimes it all comes down to being in the right place at the right time.
For Dick Blaisdell, that place happened to be his own Western Barber shop at the intersection of Route 1 and Salem Street in Lynnfield, where Blaisdell has spent the past 50 years cutting hair.
It was just a normal Thursday until a special customer walked through the door.
“This fellow walked in asking for a trim,” Blaisdell recalled. “I recognized him right away. It was Bruce Fleisher, who was playing the U.S. Senior Open up the road at Salem Country Club. We ended up having a great conversation about golf and the tour. He was very honest and said he just didn’t hit far enough to make it on tour.
“The funny thing was, I believe he was leading the Open and was the only one under par that day, but you never would have known it, as he was just a regular guy. He ended up winning the thing a few days later. I only remember when he was leaving, he asked ‘How the hell do I get out of here
with these traffic lights?’ ”
Blaisdell got the thrill of a lifetime a couple of days later after closing up the shop at noon.
“I promised him I would come and watch him on Saturday, found his group and he spotted me right away,” said Blaisdell. “He called me and a friend of mine, Randy Compton, to watch from inside the ropes. So we ducked under and followed him the rest of the way until a vicious thunderstorm rolled in and play was suspended. It was an incredible experience.”
Blaisdell went back to the course for Sunday’s final round to cheer on his new friend. After congratulating Fleisher on his victory, the golfer promised he would send Blaisdell an autographed picture of him holding the winner’s Ouimet Trophy.
“A friend of mine ran into him later that year in Florida and mentioned me, so Bruce sent the picture, as promised,” Blaisdell said. “He was just such a likable and down-to-earth guy.”
The framed photo is one of many pieces of memorabilia displayed in the barbershop.
Photo: Owen O’Rourke