At the recent Council meeting, Council Member Dr.G (Dr. Luis S González) presented the Business Recognition Award to A-1 Barber’s on behalf of the City Council. Lupe Aldama Sr., owner of A-1 Barber’s, has been a barber in our community for over 70 years and has operated his business for 35 of those years at its current location on La Cadena Dr. In addition, Lupe Aldama Sr. just celebrated his 93rd birthday and is still cutting hair for many of the locals.
Standing in on behalf of Mr. Aldama at the public meeting was his son, Mr. Lupe Aldama, Jr., who offered to attend in place of his dad, and who provided much of the information. As he stated, “If you know my dad, Lupe Sr., you’ll know that it’s understandable my father is not here. He is very shy in public and a private person.” Many people in the audience chuckled because it is well-known that behind his barber chair, Lupe Sr. is an aggressive, hard-working professional who has great skills, a big smile, and knows the names, of hundreds of clients. It was also mentioned that he knows much of the personal “business” of dozens of individuals, which after being said, caused additional smiles from the audience.
Born in 1929, Lupe Sr. first worked in the cement industry, holding jobs as a heavy equipment operator at the Victorville Rock Quarry and then the Cal-Portland Cement Company. After laboring for several years, Lupe Sr. experienced rashes and skin irritations caused by exposure to limestone, and consequently, had to think about making a change. His brother Marty was a barber at the time and suggested that Lupe Sr try that line of work. Lupe Sr. agreed and went on to barber school in Los Angeles.
Once he received his license, Lupe Sr. worked at a barber shop in Rialto followed by a stint in Colton, at 7th and N Street. He later worked in a shop at the Inland Center Mall, called Top Hat. Soon after, he bought his own business at the Mt. Vernon Shopping Center, the former name of Plaza Las Glorias. The shop was next to Taco Joe’s and was purchased under the name A-1 Barber’s.
In 1990, Lupe Aldama Sr. decided to move his shop to its current location, the mini-mall near Stater Bros on La Cadena Drive. For 35 years, Lupe Aldama has been a mainstay in the heart of our city and certainly represents the backbone of our local culture and our economy.
On a personal note, Lupe has a wonderful family including his wife Rosalind, who has since passed away, 7 children, dozens of grandchildren, and tons of great-grandchildren. Lupe has also enjoyed fishing over the years and has had a lifelong love for good, old-fashioned heavy-duty cars, including the 2001 Cadillac Deville he currently drives. In addition, at the end of his work day, Lupe likes to head out to the casinos and try his hand at the slot machines. Truth be told, Lupe Sr. was actually at the casino at the time of the council presentation. “That’s just Lupe being Lupe,” added a friendly voice from the audience.
Mr. Lupe Aldama Sr. is to be congratulated not only for his successful business in Colton, but for his long and distinguished career as a barber, and for his 93rd birthday. We truly hope that Lupe will continue doing what he loves best, and that is being a barber, and providing this valuable service to our community. With that, we celebrate the successful business, career, and birthday of Mr. Lupe Aldama.