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Are you curious about the Miami Valley, its history, people or economy? Is there a place, a person or a story that mystifies or intrigues you? Do you like to ask questions? WYSO Curious is an occasional series that lets you ask questions for WYSO reporters to answer.

Who Is The Bearded Barber? WYSO Curious Cuts Through

James Hicks is the Bearded Barber.
Lewis Wallace
/
WYSO

WYSO Curious, our series where you ask the questions and our reporters answer them, is at it again, this time with a question that might seem clear-cut:

Who is the Bearded Barber?

The inquiry came from Andrew Griggis, a former music intern here, but we couldn't reach him about the story. Instead, I went straight to the source: James Hicks, alias the Bearded Barber, who owns his barber shop in the Oregon District in Dayton. He's been in the Oregon area off Fifth Street since 2013, when he was one of the pop-up shops selected by the Downtown Dayton Partnership to get help with start-up costs.

But Hicks has only been a barber for a couple years—and it's actually a pretty dramatic tale. Hear it in his own words here:

Hicks Barber Shop in the Oregon District. Business has been so good, Hicks hired someone else to come in on his days off.
Credit Lewis Wallace / WYSO
/
WYSO
Hicks Barber Shop in the Oregon District. Business has been so good, Hicks hired someone else to come in on his days off.

WYSO Curious is our series driven by your questions and curiosities about the Miami Valley. Is there something you’ve always wondered about the Miami Valley’s history, people, culture, economy, politics or environment? Send in a question now, and check back to see which questions we’re considering.

WYSO Curious is a partner of WBEZ's Curious City, which was founded by Jennifer Brandel and is one of ten Localore productions brought to life by AIR.

Lewis Wallace is WYSO's managing editor, substitute host and economics reporter. Follow him @lewispants.