Albion barber returns to work 4 years after being seriously injured in motorcycle accident

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 August 2016 at 5:07 pm
Greg Dugan

Photos by Tom Rivers – Greg Dugan gives Ron Armstrong a haircut this morning at Greg’s Barbershop on East Bank Street in Albion. Dugan returned to barber shop on June 13, and is open three days a week.

ALBION – Four years ago Greg Dugan suffered life-threatening injuries when he was riding his motorcycle and was hit by an 18-year-old driver in Farmington.

Bystanders feared Dugan was dead after the crash on Aug. 6, 2012. His motorcycle “totally disintegrated.” He credits a full-face helmet for saving his life.

Dugan was seriously injured, breaking both knees, both wrists, separating his pelvis, fracturing his left hip, and lacerating his left leg.

He was forced to step back from a business he loved. He opened Greg’s Barbershop in 1991. His customers are toddlers to very old men. Dugan has been popular not only for his skills at cutting hair, but for his interest in people’s lives.

Dugan endured intense physical therapy to get back to where he could walk and stay on his feet. It’s still not easy getting by on a shattered hip and femur.

“It’s been a very long road,” he said today at the barber shop. “It’s still painful, but I’m healing and everyday is a better day.”

Dugan has been itching to get back to work. On June 13 he was back at Greg’s. He hasn’t advertised, but the news has spread by word of mouth. He is doing a part-time schedule, open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I missed my friends here at the shop,” Dugan said. “I wanted to visit with all of my supportive friends.”

Greg Dugan and Ron Armstrong

Ron Armstrong enjoys the camaraderie with Greg Dugan during a haircut this morning.

Ron Armstrong enjoys the camaraderie with Greg Dugan during a haircut this morning.

A month ago Ron Armstrong was driving along East Bank Street and he saw the barber’s sign pole lighted up and spinning outside Greg’s Barbershop.

Armstrong was pleased to see the shop was open. He was thrilled when he opened the door and saw Dugan.

“I am glad to see him back,” Armstrong said. “I like a barber where you can sit and talk and Greg likes to talk.”

Armstrong remains an active Albion firefighter, even in his 80s. He told Dugan he debates whether he should stop going to fire and emergency calls. Armstrong said he would miss it, and the department is often in need of responders.

Dugan believes in trying to be as active as possible.

“When you sit around and don’t stay active, that’s when you start to fail,” he said while talking with Armstrong.
Dugan said he needs to take frequent breaks and he rests on a stool at times when giving haircuts. He said he is thankful for the regained strength and mobility.

“I’m pacing myself with the workload,” he said. “I’m doing fine. I can’t complain. I’ve come a long ways.”

Dugan served as caregiver for his mother, Elaine Dugan, while she recently battled cancer for 18 months. He opened Greg’s on June 13 on her birthday, as a tribute to his late mother.

Dugan has also stayed active with the Knights of Columbus, participating in parades with the group. He isn’t able to march in parades, but rides in floats with the K of C, with his mother’s dog, Buddy, next to him.

Greg Dugan

Dugan has created an old-time feel in the barbershop. He said he hopes his customers come in and relax, taking a break from their busy lives.