A Cut Above the Rest: Clipping Hair in Wilkes-Barre at 90

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WILKES-BARRE -- While many people retire in their mid-60s, a 90-year-old in Wilkes-Barre is happy to still be working five days a week.

Frank Sartorio started cutting hair when he was just 13 years old. Sartorio is head barber at Sartorio and Sons Barber Shop on West Market Street in Wilkes-Barre.

Although the seasoned barber says he looks 29, he just turned 90 this month. Sartorio was cutting hair back when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.

"I love it. I love to be a barber, I love people," Frank told Newswatch 16.

And his customers love him.

"This is the guy," said Lorenzo, "They don't come any better! OK! He cut hair the same way now, that he did 50 years ago! 60 years ago!"

The Italian barber originally from North Africa has customers who have been coming for cuts for 60 plus years.

When Dennis Llewellyn started coming to Frank, he paid 50 cents for a cut, 25 cents for a shave.

"He cut my hair in 1957, the day I got married," said Dennis,  to which Frank remembered.

Customers like Dennis come to the shop, not just for the cut from Frank but the camaraderie of three generations of Sartorio barbers.

We asked Frank's son Peter if he thought his father would still be doing this at 90. "We were hoping to get rid of him at 70, 75," replied Peter, "But it didn't work. He's still going. God bless him."

Frank's family jokes about him retiring, but this shop just wouldn't be the same without him. Plus, they say doing what he loves is the secret to him "looking so good" at 90.

"We tried to keep him home, saying, 'dad, stay home, you are tired.' But no, he keeps coming in because this is really, really, what keeps him going," said Peter.

So, for this seasoned barber as long has his hands stay steady, and he is able, Frank Sartorio will continue being a barber who is a cut above the rest.

"I hope to keep going strong, I don't know how long that's going to be."