Perini’s Hair Plus will be honored as an Arcadia Business Icon by the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and Arcadia Historical Society at the Chamber’s monthly Networking Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 15 in the Sunset Room of the Santa Anita Golf Course. To RSVP and reserve a ticket ($15 for Chamber members; $20 for non-members), call 626-447-2159 or purchase tickets online at Arcadia Chamber web site.
<See two-minute video profile of Perini’s Hair Plus here at YouTube.>
Many men in their 60s say they have been getting their haircuts for their entire lives at Perini’s Hair Plus at 73 E. Foothill Boulevard between Santa Anita Avenue and First Avenue. Most know that owner Frank Perini has been involved with the Rotary Club for half a century and is an avid photographer.
But not everyone knows that Frank is not Italian, as the name may imply, but rather of Mexican descent. Although he was born and raised in the area, the name made it easier for him to start a business and be accepted in the area.
Perini was born in East Los Angeles. At the age of six his family moved to El Monte, where they did farm work and raised produce for the downtown market while Frank attended schools and graduated from El Monte High School. A year after marriage he was drafted into the U. S. Army and was discharged four years later. He attended Pacific Barber College in Pasadena under the G. I. Bill and thus, began his lifetime work.
In 1954 Frank opened his barbershop in Arcadia.
For 13 years Frank and his staff gave free haircuts at all-night graduation parties and sponsored a Little League team in Arcadia for 44 years.
Among the many changes in the area since his shop opened:
There were two gas stations at the corner of Foothill Blvd. and Highland Oaks Drive.
In the two blocks east of Santa Anita Avenue on the north side of Foothill there were only five buildings and a lot of vacant land.
Arcadia has been Perini’s home and it is the community he loves. “Arcadia has given a lot to me and my family, and I feel like I’ve given back,” Perini said
Shortly after opening his shop, Perini joined the Arcadia Rotary Club. After a few years of membership he became their official greeter, a post he held for five years. For the past 44 years, he has been the official photographer for the Rotary Club. Each year he presents the outgoing president with an album chronicling his year as president. He is proud of his 54-year perfect attendance record. In the first 10 years as a member of the Rotary club, Frank helped build Youth Huts at several of the Arcadia grammar schools. And he built the first of many buildings the club was to build at the Boy Scouts’ Camp Trask in the hills above Monrovia. Rotary even built the memorial patio behind the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce building.
Sports have always been a big part of Frank’s life and his activities have included football and track at El Monte High School, deep sea fishing, driving a motorcycle for 25 years, tennis, golf, bowling and parachute jumping, (36 free-fall jumps). Frank fought four amateur fights at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, made a 40-minute glider flight, played baseball with the Arcadia los Padres team, enjoyed water and snow skiing and played softball for over 40 years, retiring at the age of 84. Frank’s children, Virginia, Mari, Frank and Danielle are all graduates of Arcadia High School and one of his daughters taught in the Arcadia School District.
— By Carol Libby and Scott Hettrick