Barber Jim Creech appreciates the history of his business and can recite who preceded him behind the barber chair and what years they owned the business.

Barber Jim Creech appreciates the history of his business and can recite who preceded him behind the barber chair and what years they owned the business.

As a testament to the past and Creech's taste for history, old photographs of past barbers grace his walls and he can name everyone in them.

Some businesses come and go, some may change dramatically, but this long time tradition continues. A reliable barber is one of the first things a man seeks when finding themselves in a new town.

Floyd the Barber, of the Andy Griffith Show, had nothing over on this shop. This is still a traditional type of barber shop that includes pairs of scissors, electric razors, hot towels for an old fashioned shave, and even the stories are told.

Barber shops were introduced in Rome around 296 BC and quickly became the place where gossip and news could be found, just like Floyd's Barber Shop in Mayberry, North Carolina.

One of the last service industry businesses in the United States, this is a place where you can walk in unannounced and receive a customized haircut in minutes, whether a long-time customer or as a first time experience.

Milt King, was the first to set up shop in the 1940's, at the Kentucky Street location, after buying the business from a gentleman on Hazel Street. King had just returned from WWII, and became a barber on a GI bill. He and his wife Wada lived in Gridley at that time. He owned the shop in the 1940's before selling it to Milt McVicker in 1951.

He has kept a collection of old time scissors, combs, razor blades and even an old textbook belonging to previous owner McVicker.

While visiting Creech at 549 Kentucky Street, you can even see him swipe his chair with a towel when done with a customer, to signify he is ready for the next customer.

McVicker owned the two- chair shop from 1951 to 1970  and had barbers Dale Stanton,  Rey Sasaki and Leonard Staumbaugh, working for him during those years.

Sasaki of course, went on to open his own shop on Hazel Street, that closed this year when he retired.

McVicker's dad, George, was also a barber  and he had a barber shop in Vallejo before moving to Gridley around 1951 or 1952, to join his son cutting hair.

The barber licenses of Milt, his father and Staumbaugh, still hang in the shop.

McVicker sold the shop in 1975 to Ralph Newton, who had Terry Hamblin working for him.

While speculating how many thousands of haircuts have been done in this shop over the years, Creech said McVicker and his two barbers often did 100 a day, and averaged 75 per day.

McVicker gave up the scissors to work for Farm Bureau Insurance with Stan Avrit, where he was employed before accepting a position  as Manager of the Joint Water District, a job he held until he died in 1996.

Pete Alaimo bought the shop in 1985 and worked with his brother Sam, until Creech bought the shop in 1995.

He and Larry Butz have been barbers 76 years in all. Creech is a second generation barber, with 43 years experience and Butz is a third generation barber, with 33 years experience.
Creech is well known for his athleticism, especially snow skiing, golfing and running. He enjoys all sports, especially attending Raiders games, which is his favorite team.

In his shop, besides the many old time photos of past barbers in the shop, and elsewhere, Creech has a wall for his love of athletics, including snowing at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon in 2007, and the medals he has won from past years for running.

He and his wife Heather have a son, Kevin, who is the number one golfer at Gridley High School as a sophomore and he was number two golfer as a freshman. He also plays football.

At 62-years-old, retirement is not something Crech is planning anytime too soon.

"I enjoy it so much here, they'll have to carry me out," he exclaimed.