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In remembrance: Larry Bystrom

Customers of barber Larry Bystrom had only to look up to see his wall of John F. Kennedy pictures. Most were of Kennedy visiting River Falls in early 1960 before he became president.1 / 2
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Larry Bystrom, 63, longtime barber of Main Street in River Falls died Friday, May 16. He was buried Monday, May 19, at the local Greenwood Cemetery.

His little slice of a shop, Bystrom’s Barbering, 112 S. Main St., is next to Bo’s ‘N’ Mine bar.

Months before his death Bystrom had been diagnosed with incurable liver cancer. Still, he continued with his daily barbering duties. His loyal clientele was a mix of regulars and new ones, especially college students.

For years Bystrom and his younger brother Doug barbered together in the same shop. Their business began in 1980 as Bystrom Brothers Barbering.

Doug died suddenly in November 1999 in a fluke accident after slipping in the shower at home.

Afterward Larry Bystrom kept the business going as a solo barber and owner.

Bystrom was known as a John F. Kennedy assassination buff and memorabilia collector.

Last November, on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death, Bystrom and Ed Vlack, St. Croix County judge, hosted a River Falls Public Library presentation on the Kennedy killing and the many conspiracy and cover-up theories that have emerged in the decades since.

Bystrom also collected photos of Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign against Richard Nixon that included a stop in River Falls.

The photos hung on Bystrom’s wall right in front of his two barbering chairs.

Bystrom said the photos always made for good conversation pieces.

“The new customers can’t believe Kennedy bothered to come to this town,” Bystrom told the Journal. “The old customers are interested in who else they can see in the pictures with Kennedy that they might have known or heard of.”

Larry Bystrom’s obituary appears in the May 22 print edition of the River Falls Journal.