Stepson remembers ‘Jim the Barber’ of Edmonds

Dan Rogers continues in the footsteps of a local icon
By Brian Soergel | Jul 05, 2018
Photo by: Brian Soergel Dan Rogers took over Jim Graves’ hair-cutting business after the veteran hairstylist retired.

Barber Jim Graves made a lot of people look sharp – first in the Navy, then for more than 48 years at several Edmonds locations.

Graves – affectionately known to most as “Jim the Barber” – died June 17 at age 76.

“He was really good at cutting hair,” said Dan Rogers, owner of Dan’s Barber Shop in Firdale Village.

“The biggest thing about him was that he had the gift of gab. He could ebb and flow with people coming in and out of the shop. That’s one of the things you have to manage – who you can talk to about what, and what you can’t talk about. He was really good at that, and he really cared about people.”

Rogers should know. He was Graves’ stepson, and credits his stepfather for steering his own career path.

“He’d always tell me stories,” Rogers said recently from his shop, decked in miscellaneous posters, knickknacks, firefighter helmets and gobs of Seahawks memorabilia.

“He learned how to cut hair in the Navy, and that’s where he honed his craft of being the guy behind the chair. He’d be available. He got in with guys in the kitchen – they’d serve him food on the side, so he could pig out when he wanted to. He just kind of took it up, because they didn’t really teach you how to cut hair. When he got out, he went to barber school in Seattle and perfected his craft.”

In Edmonds, Graves’ found work at several locations long gone: Chuck’s Barber Shop, Frenchy’s Barber Shop, now home to Edmonds Bookshop, and Bill’s Barber Shop on Main Street, where Daphnes is now.

You can still see the barber chair at Daphnes. “Back in the day, Jim would play cards downstairs there, in the basement,” Rogers said. “He told there were days he actually made more money playing cards downstairs than cutting hair upstairs.”

Graves eventually opened his own business, “Jim’s Hairstyling” – first at the site of the bookshop, then at Puget Drive and Olympic View Drive, and finally at Five Corners.

Graves renovated his Five Corners shop to also house himself and his family. Rogers took over the business in 2003, as Graves decided on semi-retirement, cutting hair twice a week. He gave his last haircut there Sept. 12, 2011.

When Graves and wife Kathie Jo sold the Five Corners property – it’s now home to My Sister’s Place – Dan relocated his business to Edmonds Way, where he opened Dan’s Barber Shop inside the former Mike’s Deli.

He was only there for a year – a fire that destroyed part of the building in March 2014 meant Rogers had to find a new location, which he discovered in Firdale Village.

Rogers, 47, says business is good. He also says he’s indebted to his stepfather.

“When I told Jim I was thinking about cutting hair, he told me, ‘You won’t get rich at it, but it’s an honest living.’ Now, I have clients that Jim gave their first haircuts to. I have clients now where I’m giving their kids haircuts, and even clients where I’m cutting their grandkids’ hair, too.”

Rogers said that, like Graves, one of the perks of his job is getting hip to a diverse group of locals.

“Jim had his dream home built in Hansville before he retired,” he said. “Most of the people who worked on it were clients. So you really do help to build a community.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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