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Kentucky Derby brings two unlikely friends together

Celebrities, athletes, politicians, and more are regular visitors during on first weekend of May, and sometimes unlikely friendships are made.
Published: May. 7, 2022 at 12:23 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Derby brings all walks of life to Louisville. Celebrities, athletes, politicians and more are regular visitors during on first weekend of May, and sometimes unlikely friendships are made.

A big part of Derby is the fashion. People get their hair and makeup done, allowing them to break out their Sunday best for some fun at the track.

Sometimes the quest for a great haircut leads to something more.

Adam Weitsman was walking down the street, looking for a place to get a haircut and shave. The New York entrepreneur stumbled upon “The Vintage Barber Lounge” on Bardstown Road.

When Weitsman sat in his chair, barber David Melvin had no idea who he was.

“The other barbers were booked so they ended up calling me,” Melvin said. “He got in touch and asked if I was available, so I came in. He looked like a normal guy. Flip flops, shorts, and a T-shirt.”

Then he noticed Weistman’s watch.

“I asked him about it, and he gave me the name of the watch,” Melvin said. “Come to find out that watch costs about three houses.”

Melvin typed Weistman’s name into Google, and he was surprised to find a billionaire with over 15 million followers on Instagram was sitting in his chair.

The barbers at the shop aren’t strangers to having famous people in their shop. They have a wall that features visitors like Jack Harlow, Henry Davis, and more. But for Melvin, there was a deeper connection this time.

“He seemed so normal, but it did blow my mind as far as, ‘Wow, a billionaire,’” Melvin said. “Because you would think that a billionaire would be such above that, but it wasn’t like that at all.”

“We just had a great connection there, and I loved the history of the barbershop and the stories they were telling,” Weitsman said. “So it ended up being more than just a haircut and shave.”

After the haircut, Weitsman gave Melvin a $100 tip.

“He walks out, and I kind of chased him down and said, ‘Can you sign it for me?’”

Melvin has the $100 bill framed and on the wall.

Weitsman was in town that year because he had a horse racing in the Derby. He understands its importance to Louisville.

“It’s really the locals that make it what it is,” Weitsman said. “We’re just guests. I’ve been to different places around the world, and that city has a special place in my heart. Getting to meet him there at the barbershop, it was just the icing on the cake.”

Unfortunately, the two friends weren’t able to meet up for this year’s Derby because of a conflict of schedules, but they’ll find a way to each other again eventually.

WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram...
WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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