Bradenton barber gives anyone age 100 or older free haircuts for life
BRADENTON -- Two Bradenton 100-something- year-olds are taking full advantage of a local barber's offer of free hair cuts for life to centenarians.
Pam Lozano, owner of Pam's Barber Shop, meets Albert Hamel, who will be 102 in June, and Gilbert Stannard , who will turn 101 on Dec. 1, every month to ensure that they stay dapper. Both gentlemen grew up on dairy farms in New England.
The widowers are Lozano's only centenarians right now, although she has had some women come in for haircuts in the past.
"They're great," Lozano said. "I can't get over they are 100 and how active they are. I love hearing their stories."
Hamel, who lives with his daughter, Janet Montague, in Casa Loma mobile home park, was born in Durham, N.H., and worked as a welder in a shipyard in Portsmouth, N.H.
Stannard, who lives with his son, Jerry, in Golf Lakes, worked as a maintenance supervisor in a school system in Connecticut.
Both men have survived 100 years of living in pretty good shape. Neither has artificial knees, shoulders or wrists.
"Dad has no stents, no replacement joints, no arthritis, just bad hearing," Montague said of Hamel. "Dad's ears are 100. The rest of him is not."
Besides enjoying police shows like CSI on TV, Hamel is an inventor who went through the patent process on a fruit picker designed to pick oranges and grapefruit without pulling out the stem.
Hamel loves to "putter around" and still makes things with power tools. He cares for himself and only lives with his daughter because the two like each other's company.
Stannard has never spent a night in a hospital and loves to play card games, especially with his great-granddaughters, Jerry Stannard said.
Stannard was a champion shuffleboarder who still goes to tournaments with Jerry.
"He took care of me for a lot of years when I was little, so it's payback time," Jerry Stannard said. "I take him all over the state. He is the most favorite person. They don't care that I come, but they love having him around. They call him 'Pops.'"
Stannard grew up milking cows in Clinton, Conn. Hamel did the same on a farm in Madbury, N.H.
Lozano never tires of hearing about the men's lives and their successful marriages -- it's worth the price of the monthly haircut at her 4630 Fifth St. W., Bradenton barbershop. Stannard had his Ann. Hamel had his Evadel, who was named for a character in a 1870 newspaper weekly serial.
Hamel says being 100 is no big deal.
"It's the same as 99," he says with a grin.
The pair, who are now friends, are not timid about living with gusto, Montague said.
"They have a life to live," she said. "They want a new chair, they go buy a new chair. They don't think, 'I will use it only a year.'"
That doesn't mean, however, that they are changing with the times.
"No long hair, no different colors," Lozano said. "These gentlemen are creatures of habit. They always get what we call 'The Regular Guy's Hair Cut.'"
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@RichardDymond.