But Lennartz also went into his own piano business on the side during those years. “I bought a small building and trailer, and would pick up used pianos, restore them, and sell them out of that building.”
He also continued to play at St. Peters for 30 years, then at St. Denis in Versailles another 20. He finally retired at 65, but only from La-Z-Boy. “I went back to work in a few different barber shops for several years, then decided to open my own with two of my sons. I wanted a real old-fashioned shop with shaves and facials as well as cuts,” he said.
Lennartz Olde Time Barber Shop in Springboro has five private booths, “and we’re getting ready to hire a sixth barber. It’s doing really well – men like coming in and getting pampered, and all barbers are taught to do men’s facials, which take about an hour. We’re doing things like they did years ago – haircuts, facials and shaves.”
The two sons who invested in the shop don’t work there — one’s a CPA and takes care of the financial part of the business, and the other does the technical aspects.
Lennartz, 83, still comes in four days a week, “but I’ll whittle back to three when we hire the sixth barber,” he says, noting that “I can still outdo the others and set the pace. And I love going in there, talking to people, and playing the old pump organ for customers when I’m not busy.”
At home, he has two organs and a piano in the Centerville condo where he and Delores live now, and plays them every day. “My kids give me the devil, but Delores has been an angel, supporting all the crazy things I’ve done.”
He bought yet another organ last month, an 1850s Moller pump organ, for his hometown. “Fort Recovery is renovating an old opera house and sent out a letter for donations. I have connections with a group of organists, and was sent a photo of that organ for sale.
“Most that old are rotten inside, but this one had been restored, so I forwarded the picture to the historical committee and said if they wanted it, I’d buy it and donate it to them. They accepted, so my son Steve and I took the trailer to the lady’s house, picked it up, took it to Fort Recovery and I played it for the committee.”
And, a few weeks ago, he was asked to play at St. Leonard, a Centerville retirement community. “It was wonderful, and I’ll be a substitute when they need me.”
Lennartz, loves the adage that “growing old is a privilege,” and says “I feel very privileged.”
Contact this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.