Here at Newswatch 16, we’ve shown you a lot of stories about people in our area who turn one hundred years old. But most of them aren’t still working. One barber from Nanticoke is still clipping hair, even today, on his 100th birthday.
Every buzz, every snip, every comb through the hair is another reminder to Zelino Vici that he’s been doing this for 79 years of his life. You heard that right. Zelino, or Zel, is a barber in Nanticoke, and this is how he’s celebrating his 100th birthday, by working.
“I opened up my barber shop January 1935,” said Zelino Vici.
Seventy-nine years working at the chair has earned him lots of business.
“Zel gives you your money`s worth.”
Mike Sitsay is a regular. He and Zel go to the same church in Wilkes-Barre, which has a happy birthday sign up for Zel. Mike is younger, but he says since both of their wives have died, they’re close.
“Zel’s 100, and I says `You know, Zel? You made it to the top. Now you have to start all over again: 101, 102, 103, start from the beginning,” said Mike Sitsay, of Trucksville.
When we talked to Zel about meeting him here on his birthday, he told us to come at 7:00am. But when we got here at 6:45, he was already a few customers deep.
“I was here at 6:00 this morning. This morning, he must have come in at about 10 after six,” said Vici.
Zelino has been cutting Ken Turley’s hair since Ken was six years old. He’s now 73.
“It`s amazing, really. Notice how steady his hands still was when he`s cutting? It helps keep him alive what he`s doing here,” said Ken Turley, of Lake Silkworth.
But these days, Zelino has a pacemaker. He suffers from diabetes. He’s had triple bypass surgery and bladder cancer. He’s survived it all, and at 100, he’s still snipping.
“I got to keep busy. I can`t sit around doing nothing,” said Vici.
So who cuts Zelino’s hair? A retired barber, a youngster at 80 years old. But he’s no match for Zelino Vici.