| The Record
STOCKTON — You might say The Traveling Barber — who goes by the name of Big Herk — offers service a cut above the rest.
Even when he’s wearing a mask, you can tell Herk is smiling as he unloads his gear from a white rolling suitcase.
Herk, 52, has been cutting hair for nearly all of his life and said he has been cutting Mayor Michael Tubbs’ hair since he was 9. He worked in a salon in Lodi and had bought space in the Waterfront Warehouse that he was planning to open.
But when COVID-19 spread through the Valley, Herk lost his job in Lodi, and the money for his salon in Stockton was gone.
“When it hit me — how am I going to help my wife take care these bills?” Herk, who stands a little under 6 feet tall, said in his booming voice as he placed a barber cape over Bobby Wyatt as he prepared to cut his hair in Wyatt’s south Stockton home. “My wife invested a lot in me and in my business. I was really concerned about helping my wife; she became the consistent sole provider.”
It was time to bring his shears on the road.
Herk now keeps busy behind the wheel driving to serve his loyal followers; he averages 5-6 clients a day through his business, Big Herk’s Clippers.
“I know that bringing a haircut to people also brings a smile to their face,” Herk said. “And through this pandemic, people still wanted to smile.”
Contact photographer Calixtro Romias at (209) 943-8543 or [email protected]