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Durham barber keeps faith while rebuilding shop

Posted January 19, 2012
Updated January 20, 2012

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— A year has passed since fire tore through Sam Jenkins’ barbershop on Angier Avenue in Durham.

And while it’s been a trying time, continued perseverance – and some lessons he’s learned from his favorite basketball team – have helped Jenkins push forward toward his goal of reopening this April.

“I’m just caught up trying to survive,” Jenkins said.

That’s been a big enough job since last January, when an accidental electrical fire started in Triangle Trophy and spread to Samuel and Sons Barber Shop, destroying everything Jenkins had worked to build since moving to the space in 2004.

Sam Jenkins’ barbershop on Angier Avenue in Durham. Barber rebuilds, a year after fire

Since then, Jenkins has been in the process of rebuilding. Insurance companies will cover the damage, but Jenkins says he’s been surprised to learn about all the red tape that comes with rebuilding.

“You got to submit plans, have to get engineering, got to get this approved by this person and that person,” he said.

Despite the frustrations that come with each delay or setback, Jenkins said he’ll rebuild so that he can reestablish his place in the community. It’s a way for him to give back.

“If you follow the old way of barbering, the community is the most important thing,” he said.

Since buying the building on Angier Avenue eight years ago, Jenkins has gotten credit for reaching out to both city leaders and neighbors to take back the streets from drugs, gangs and prostitutes in east Durham.

Even without a permanent space, Jenkins, who once lived on the streets himself, continues to give back. He gives free haircuts or clothes to people who need them.

Personally, Jenkins says he’s relied on Duke University basketball for that extra bit of motivation to keep moving forward.

“Duke is my team, and when I get frustrated, I think about my team,” he said. “It’s like, 'What would my team do?' They would keep fighting all the way until the end, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

If things continue to go as planned, Jenkins hopes to reopen in April. He said he’ll have a big cookout for the community when the grand re-opening does arrive.

“It would feel, I guess like a kid on Christmas,” Jenkins said.

38 Comments

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  • UNC PH.d Jan 19, 2012

    Yeah carolinagirl39, but without "negative nillies" as you call them, people would just through life ignorant and blind. Well, I guess most people don't care...

  • carolinagirl39 Jan 19, 2012

    Ohhhhh there it is. I was waiting for all of the bashing and trash talking. No matter; good or bad someone will have something negative to say. Unfortunately, negative nillies will continue to exist. God bless you all! So much to say about NOTHING!! alwaysentertaining.com

  • FDWife Jan 19, 2012

    "Exactly, but a religious lady thought otherwise and thought a little evangelizing was in order.....she may have been confused by the word "faith" in the header and did not notice it was lower case."

    haggis basher, I do not appreciate you putting words in my mouth. My intent was to show support of a fine citizen who was conducting himself as all responsible citizen should - minding his business, supporting his fellow man, and taking care of those who are less fortunate than he is.

    It is pitiful that a positive comment about a positive story turns into such a debate.

    I would, however, like to remind haggis basher, and anyone else who has something negative to say..Our nation is founded on many principles, one of which is freedom of speech. It is your right to say what you wish, but it is also MY right to say what I, as a Christian, wish. I would never "inflict my beliefs" on anyone, because Christ gave us all the right and responsibility to choose what we believe.

  • imsirius Jan 19, 2012

    Haggis,

    Give it a rest. Please. Thank you for turning this into your personal soap box against religion. I hope you feel you've accomplished something, other than wasting others' time.

  • UNC PH.d Jan 19, 2012

    "early roman church and then translated into languages that would not exist for a thousand years and read by people you could not even begin to understand the mindset of a 2000 year old bronze age goat herder."

    Ahh yes, the infamous Council of Nicea....where the beliefs of modern Christianity were ironed out. Crazy to think that what modern Christians believe was cobbled together by politicians and competing gospels were either edited or left out all together. Like I said before, if people would only take a unbiased history of world religion class, it might open their eyes a little bit. But most just choose, or are afraid, to be anything but sheeple.

  • haggis basher Jan 19, 2012

    "Yes the Bureaucracy of Durham sure takes a while , One Year to get a property rebuilt, One year out of Business "

    as opposed to what, unregulated building and no safety codes etc.....how did that work out in the past? How many died before codes etc etc were put in place?

  • haggis basher Jan 19, 2012

    "You don't know Biblical history do you?"

    They wisely don't teach them that at church or if they do its the silly "well this person or city is mentioned in the bible and we can show that that person or place really probably maybe existed so the whole bible must be true......."
    Kings Cross Station is mentioned in Harry Potter so do you think in 2000 years they will be saying "well we found Kings Cross Station so Harry and Wizards really did exist in 1999"?

  • haggis basher Jan 19, 2012

    "I don't for the life of me understand how this story turned into a religious debate."

    Blogs are always like this. It the nature of the beast and what makes them so interesting.

  • mike275132 Jan 19, 2012

    “You got to submit plans, have to get engineering, got to get this approved by this person and that person,” he said"

    Yes the Bureaucracy of Durham sure takes a while , One Year to get a property rebuilt, One year out of Business .

    Another Fine Job Mayor Bell and Team!

  • haggis basher Jan 19, 2012

    "I don't for the life of me understand how this story turned into a religious debate. If you believe or don't believe in God is not the point of this story."

    exactly, but a religious lady thought otherwise and thought a little evangelizing was in order.....she may have been confused by the word "faith" in the header and did not notice it was lower case.....
    I thought that the comment section was to comment on the aritical not another person's comments. I'm just glad no one was hurt in the fire and that the man will soon be re-opening his business soon.

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