By Brad Miller
Longtime Arcadia Rotarian and hairdresser Frank Perini honored on 93rd birthday.
“Thank you God for this time.” offered Frank, eyes lifted upward, arms outstretched.
That was his response to the program of reflections and admiration from family and Rotarians as he closes in on his 93rd birthday and recently retired from 63 years of hairdressing.
We were reminded of his 58 years of perfect attendance in Rotary. It used to be that standard for Rotarians years ago. Unfortunately we were also reminded of prejudice and overcoming it. Frank had to change his name from Perez to the Italian sounding Perini to be able to buy a house and to be accepted into Arcadia Rotary. President Rosie Mares as a Mexican American appreciated Frank’s tenacity that opened the door for her and others to follow more easily.
Repeatedly those at the lectern spoke of Frank’s contributions to his family, his community and his inherent kindness at a personal level. We heard how he made memories with his children, taking them to new release movies in Hollywood and a meal at Clifton’s Cafeteria, how he helped with numerous Rotary projects, and even made house calls for infirmed clients. We heard how he arranged for a flatbed truck with lights, sound, Santa and plenty of Crackerjack to meander the streets at Christmas time and raise the spirits of the community.
Some may not have known that his hard-of-hearing was from his WWII Army artillery contribution.
Numbers are big describing Frank: 50+ years as photographer for the Rotary Club. He was still taking pictures at the meeting honoring him. 47 Presidential scrap books, sponsored Little League for 40 years, was an athlete that stopped pitching at 84, a 30 year marriage and a current 20 year marriage… and on and on.
He sets the bar very high for Rotarians and admirably demonstrates the Rotary motto: “Service Above Self.” A tribute well-deserved.