At an early age Jayber Crow thought he was called to go into the ministry, but after many experiences and many questions about his religion, he found himself living in Port William, Kentucky as the town barber. Jayber quickly came to realize he needed Port William and loved to live and work there. Port William also came to realize that it needed Jayber.
Not only was he the town barber, but he became the town grave digger and the janitor of the town church. Jayber found a place where he felt loved and that he belonged, and he was becoming a productive citizen. At the age of 10, Jayber’s life had been turned upside down.His aunt Cordie died, and he had no other relatives, so he was placed in The Good Shepherd orphanage. While at the orphanage, Jayber felt that he had been called into the ministry. After being orphaned at such a young age with nowhere to call home, he may have been looking too hard for a place to fit in or a place that he belonged. This could have led him to believe that he had been called to preach. He started pre-ministry at Pigeonville College, but before long he had started questioning his own beliefs and found himself wandering around looking for answers and a place to call home.As far back as he could remember, Jayber had fond and vivid memories of the river where he was raised. He loved that river because it always remained the same even when everything else changed around him. The river made him happy. After leaving Pigeonville, Jayber found himself in Lexington, but it was not long before he realized he needed to move on. Jayber eventually returned to his beloved river, and it led him to Port William. Jayber had learned how to cut hair while in school and had a stint as a barber in Lexington.When he saw that there was a barber shop in Port William with no barber, he figured that he could easily fill the position. Throughout his 32 years as the town barber, Jayber Crow made many friends who would last a lifetime. Aside from being the town barber, Jayber was also the town grave digger and the janitor of the town church, all of which he thoroughly enjoyed. Since he lived above his shop in town, he could easily be found when a grave needed to be dug, and he was always more than willing to help the women at the church whenever they needed it. He loved his work, and his work loved him.The people of Port William welcomed him as part of the community. This story seems to be about the fact that Jayber was pleased with and thankful for the life he had, even though it was very simple. As he got older, Jayber moved to a two room shack on the river with no electricity and no running water, but he could not have been happier anywhere else. Jayber had found a place that he could call home and a town full of people that he could call family. In the story of Jayber Crow, the place where his deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger met was known as Port William.