Humans of Granby

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Randy Thomas
Age 52
Proprietor of JD’s Barber Shop
Tell about how you arrived at your present occupation…
Once I finished high school I enrolled in the service and after that I tried many different jobs. I liked building things with my hands so I framed houses and worked in the construction industry for a while. Eventually it was important to put aside my pride and realize what the best path for me should be.
My dad was a successful barber in town for many years and his guidance helped. I came to understand that being a men’s hair stylist was rewarding in a number of ways.  Besides haircutting a good barber gets accustomed to hearing his customers talk about their lives. The shop becomes like home to many of them. Years ago a man came in that didn’t really need a haircut but had just lost a parent and wanted to talk. I’m just a listener and the small things, (about the job), mean more than big things.
Tell about something that fascinates you…
I enjoy riding my motorcycle up to Mount Greylock. I think that a lot of people don’t realize how much open land our country actually has. It isn’t necessarily the best scene that amazes me but the feeling of serenity once I arrive at my destination. The view just adds to the experience.
I love adventures and meeting strangers. On one ride I chose to go to Daytona bike week. I took a side trip out to the pier later in the day and met two kids from Connecticut out there fishing. In spite of our age differences, I remember having a remarkable conversation. While we were talking, a piece of space junk flew across the sky and then exploded. Now that registers as an extraordinary ride, happy memory.
Tell about a path, trail or road you like in Granby…
Rte. 219 towards Riverton over the Rte. 318 road that goes over the reservoir. I take it every day from my house to the shop and then back again in the evening. I once saw a moose swimming in the water. Thought at first it was a large piece of driftwood until the antlers rose up from the lake.
Writers note: JD’s barber shop truly has atmosphere. On the walls are license plates from just about all the states, collections of fishing lures, mugs, photographs and model cars. My brother once had his haircut in an old-fashioned style barber shop in Disneyworld. Here in Granby we have that shop but the difference is that ours is authentic.
Anonymous Woman
Customer at a Granby store
On a random Friday this past November, a middle aged woman walked into McDonald’s early in the morning. She handed the cashier her credit card and told her that she wanted to pay for a cup of coffee for every senior that walked into McDonald’s the following Monday. She gave no reason and requested anonymity. Later when the clerk was asked about the woman’s appearance, the cashier could not recall any distinguishing features about the woman.
When Monday came people were surprised and thankful. It wasn’t so much the coffee but the fact that someone actually took the time to extend this gesture of kindness.
In my mind, the coffee lady is an iconic human of Granby. She represents so many of those people in our town that are sincere in their desire to help others and create smiles.