Local homeless man William “Wild Bill” Pluma Barrios left an impact on La Cañada Flintridge during the years he was seen around town, and the community hasn’t forgotten about him in the wake of his death of undisclosed causes in October.
Barrios, who lived in the Hahamongna Watershed Park, was 54 when he died. He was known around town as a colorful character, but was also known to local law enforcement for public drunkenness and occasionally other disruptive behavior, said Sgt. Debra Herman of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.
La Cañadans have been reminiscing on-line about their encounters with Barrios, especially youth who encountered him in the park or around Foothill Boulevard.
Claudia Zentmyer, however, wants to take these memorials offline. She will hold a memorial service at Hahamongna Watershed Park on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1:30 p.m. Community members who wish to join the service should meet in the parking lot by the softball field at the park. The service will be held rain or shine.
“I knew him slightly, just over the years, and he was a part of our community, and really wanted to honor him,” said Zentmyer. “We were just going to invite anyone in the community and have a time for people to say a few memories.”
“I felt like … people needed a place to come together as a community and say, ‘This person was a part of our community and we remember him,’” said Zentmyer.
Zentmyer said she wasn’t sure why Barrios’ death had struck such a chord in the community, but that he definitely made an impact on La Cañadans who met him.
“I think people had a sense of responsibility for him, but also of him touching their lives in some way,” said Zentmyer. “He actually did bless me a couple times, I mean literally, when I gave him food.”