77-year-old MI barber says shop will stay open "until Jesus walks in or until they arrest me"

by Jordyn Pair · May 7th, 2020 10:24 am

A 77-year-old barber reopened his shop on Monday in defiance of Michigan's stay-at-home order.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order currently mandates that salons, barbershops, and other businesses stay closed.

"I don't need the governor to be my mother," Karl Manke said. "I have one. God bless her, she's gone now. I don't need another mother. I can make these adult decisions myself."

Manke has been cutting hair in town for 60 years. He said all the shop's chairs, doorknobs, and bathrooms are sanitized and that he wears a masks and sanitizes his hands between cuts. His equipment is also sanitized and his building is large enough for people to stand six feet apart.

"I can ... run my business how I feel I should run it," Manke said. "To tell you the truth, I am scared but I didn't really have any choice. I need to work through that fear and open up."

Manke said he needed to open for financial reasons.

"I feel like a pawn in between a bunch of politicians," Manke said. "This is something that's going to be with us for a while. We have to live with it."

Violating the executive order is punishable by a 90-day misdemeanor and/or a $500 fine. It is unclear if anyone has contacted Manke, although the city's police department had been notified of Manke's operating.

"I'll be open until Jesus walks in or until they arrest me," Manke said.


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