WASHINGTON — People sometimes tell their barber things they'd never tell their closest relatives.
But the man who shaved John Lewis' fractured skull said the civil rights icon was exactly the same man in private as he was in public: kind, generous, compassionate -- and in his final days, exhausted.
"He had a saying he always used to say, which was, 'I'm just trying to help out,'" Jared Scott, owner of His Grooming on Capitol Hill, said.
Scott still shakes thinking about the first time civil rights icon John Lewis stepped into his barbershop on Capitol Hill.
"My heart skipped a few beats," he said.
And what Lewis wanted was a hot shave with a straight razor.
"My hands were trembling," Scott said.
The barber must have done ok. Lewis came back to the shop at 12th and Pennsylvania SE nearly a dozen times over the course of a year.
"It started as 'Congressman,' then it was, 'Mr. Lewis.' And after a few times, it was 'John,'" Scott said.
But the barber was always in awe of the man who walked with King and spoke at the March on Washington.
"One guy sat in the waiting room and sobbed his eyes out, just to be in the presence of John," he said.
Lewis had a scar on the back of his head from the police batons that fractured his skull and nearly killed him on "Bloody Sunday" in 1965.
"When he walked across that bridge in Selma and didn't know if he would live to see then next day, he continued to march because it was the right thing to do," Scott said.
At the end, Scott said Lewis was exhausted.
"30 seconds, 90 seconds, he's sleeping in the chair," the barber said.
One time, Scott said he had to catch the ailing politician to keep him from falling.
He cherishes the memory of his friend John, walking in Black Lives Matter Plaza, and holding his four-year-old son.
"I hope when he's old enough to look at the picture, that he just feels the necessity to continue to live out the purpose," Scott said of his son, Jude Christian Scott. "To love, to forgive, and to persevere."
The barber said Lewis was so generous that he never turned people down when they asked for a selfie, except the last time he came to the barbershop, when pancreatic cancer had really begun to take a toll, and Lewis asked for his shave in quiet privacy.