Twenty-eight years ago, Ceree Huley was a different man. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol. He didn’t eat right. Exercise was not part of his regimen.
Today, he wears his sobriety like a badge of courage. He uses his personal experience to school others he comes in contact with, young and old. In his shop, you often hear sweet jazz and gospel sounds. The music overshadows the buzz of hair clippers. I remember he told me one day, certain music has a calming affect on the people who enter his shop, people who may be troubled as he once was.
These days there are few signs that Ceree has been through the tough times he’s more than willing to tell you about. His spirit is good. And tells those he meets that they need to let their burdens down, reminding them that life is what you make it.
Ceree is the proud engineer of his life, but he recognizes that God is the architect. Together, they have rebuilt a better man. Seven brothers, six sisters; his children and grandchildren all help him maintain the sense of family that is so important to him. One brother, Charles, works with him daily in the barbering business. When you listen to Ceree you hear your father’s voice as he shares his knowledge. Whether it’s good grooming tips or advice on health or just living well, Ceree imparts wisdom with passion. You know he cares and that caring comes from the care that others have shown him; sometimes people he barely knew.
A second opinion given him by a doctor he was referred to by a customer he knew and trusted changed his life. The first opinion was that he had prostate cancer and needed to have a procedure performed to address it. But that second opinion and the treatment that followed enabled Ceree to avoid surgery and the potential complications that come from prostate cancer surgery. Today, he lives a full life and looks back on every day with a new appreciation for the life he has.
Along the way, he has made some necessary changes in his life. He eats properly. Which means he can eat what he likes, he just can’t eat too much of it. He exercises. He believes that everyone, no matter your age, needs to have an exercise program.
And he believes that no matter how good you feel, there is always something in your life you can work on; clean up. Life, he says, is like an onion, everyday you can peel back a layer until there is a new, better you.