Beloved barber ‘Paco’ pens his thanks; reader asks for drought-tolerant gardening tips

Beloved barber ‘Paco’ pens his thanks; reader asks for drought-tolerant gardening tips
Frank "Paco" Ruiz massages a client's shoulder after a haircut at Paco's Barber Shop in La Cañada. Ruiz, who has operated the business since 1960, is closing the shop on Nov. 18. (Sara Cardine / La Cañada Valley Sun)

This is Paco, and I'm so very, very sorry to inform all of you about Paco's Barber Shop closing up on Saturday, Nov. 18. I would like to extend a most sincere and heartfelt "thank you" for 57 years of having the honor and privilege to serve you.

When the shop opened in September 1960, you children were growing and your parents allowed my staff to serve and enjoy your progress. How fulfilling it was to see what great jobs your parents did with all of you, and it didn't stop there: We also enjoyed seeing your parents becoming grandparents and great-grandparents.


To witness all of this year after year was truly a blessing. And, all of you moms: As if you didn't have enough to do at home, you were also a chauffeur, because you either walked in with your children or dropped them off, and I silently thanked you. We also went through hardships with you, reading or hearing about your losses. My prayers were always with you.

Sometimes when a youngster walks in the shop alone, I direct him to a chair and, while he's getting his haircut, I'm staring at him because I recognize his face, but I can't remember his name. So, I give up, walk to his chair and ask his name. Thank God, because most of the times I then remember his family. My staff and I are continually blessed by these reappearing youngsters.

May I say that I'm so grateful to all of you for your kindness and generosity all these years to my staff and me. It has been an honor to serve you all as best we could and to reciprocate in our way for you allowing us to be a small part of your families' lives.

Paco and staff have been blessed because of you. Salud.

Frank "Paco" Ruiz

Highland Park


I liked Lisa Novick's letter explaining why we shouldn't plant fountain grass. She also identified environmental challenges, such as carbon sequestration and heat-island reduction, that we should also address when planning our landscapes.

Like many, I've made major changes to my landscape to reduce my water consumption. I focused on finding the right drought-tolerant plants for the right location on my property. But I hadn't thought about finding plants to address environmental challenges other than water usage.

The Valley Sun should consider adding a column and highlighting a different plant each week. Perhaps someone like Lisa would be willing to contribute to it. Focus on plants that will thrive/survive specifically in our region/zone. Explain how the plant can improve the environment overall and/or solve an environmental problem specific to our region/zone. And providing the standard description of the plant's needs (soil type, amount of water, hours of sun, fertilizer needs) is always helpful too.

I would appreciate expanding my education by receiving that information each week.

Pamela Woncik

La Cañada Flintridge