Barber hanging up his clippers
Hugh Young received his final haircut and beard trim from Doug Usher.
It was a sentimental moment Thursday morning between barber and longtime client, but barber shops aren’t a place for tears and sad goodbyes. They are a place for laughs, stories and good-natured ribbing.
For more than 22 years there have been plenty of each at Doug’s Barber Shop, located for 12 years at its current location at 2938 North Ave. Unit 3, and nearly a decade at another North Avenue spot.
In April, Usher started informing his clients — some who’d been with the barber since he opened — that he will transition from Grand Junction barber to South American missionary, selling the business to colleague Dustan Coombs and moving to Peru.
“A lot haven’t been too excited about it,” Usher said.
The sour mood among the clients may be related to a tidbit Usher heard about the average man staying with his barber at least seven years compared to women, who stay with a stylist for between one and two years.
Young laughed. He entrusted his hair and beard to Usher’s clippers and scissors for 20 years.
“He still doesn’t mind taking my money,” Young said with a smile.
That loyalty explains the disappointment among Usher’s clients, but that loyalty to Doug’s Barber Shop is also why Usher feels good about his decision to sell the business to Coombs and transition into ministry.
Coombs is the fifth barber on his mother’s side of the family and a part of Doug’s for 12 years so many clients are already familiar with Coombs.
“He is 16 years younger than me,” Usher said. “Eventually, I would’ve wanted to retire and he would have taken over.”
For Usher, that time is now. He leaves today.
An ordained minister and a barber, Usher said the wheels were put in motion toward this life change about 10 years ago when he bought a time share in Mexico. Eventually, he felt compelled to learn Spanish and felt a calling to go into ministry.
He shared his sentiments among the elders of Grace Church of Arvada, which has a smaller satellite campus in Grand Junction, 2935 Patterson Road, where Usher is a pastor, according to the church’s website.
The elders in Arvada sent Usher to Peru for a Bible conference. Usher was drawn to the country and will return full-time to minister among the Shawi Indians of the Amazon.
Usher said the Shawi’s village is primitive. The nearest community is Yurimaguas, where he essentially will be based.
It was difficult for Usher to hide his excitement about moving to Peru. He was handing out cards letting people know how to stay in touch and support his mission. On the front was his photo and the Bible verse Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.”
“The doors have flown open,” Usher said, “and I’m going through them.”