Local

Fresno's 'Nick the Barber' is living his dream

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A Valley man has been living his dream working out of Fresno Yosemite International Airport where he's been cutting people's hair for 40 years. Along the way he's come across dozens of celebrities who've made his career that much more interesting.

Nicholas Palomares, known to many as "Nick the Barber," has been trimming hair at the FYI barber shop for four decades. "To me, it's not like a job. It's more like a hobby," said Palomares. "It's more like I'm in my living room and my friends are coming to me."

The daily stream of travelers coming in and out of the airport keeps the 77-year-old native from Lemoore busy. But his phone is always ringing with local clients calling for a buzz. "Most of them are regulars. I've been here too long. They know me and it's easier for them to make an appointment," said Palomares.

And Nick is more than just a barber. The walls on his shop are covered with pictures taken of celebrities he's encountered over the years like Bill Cosby, Mark Harmon and Mr. T -- unfortunately he didn't get to clip that Mohawk.

"Here's Magic Johnson right here. Look at him as a kid, you can see he's walking out the gate," said Palomares.

Fresno State players and coaches have also stopped by for a trim and every time, Nick uses a specially-made bulldog barber chair cloth on them. "This is Boyd Grant, our famous Boyd Grant. He was probably the first one to wear it," recounts Palomares.

Nick has been at the same location since 1972. He started his career in San Francisco where he got the surprise of his life when he met singer John Lennon and Yoko Ono. "They came in and John asked me if I could give him a trim. I said 'sure.' I was really excited at that time," said Palomares.

Nick even saved samples of their hair. And despite the thousands of haircuts he's done, he doesn't plan on retiring anytime soon -- and that's a good thing for his most loyal clients. "He's the best. Hopefully all [my] hair is gone when he leaves and I don't have to worry about a barber anymore," said long-time client John Langford.

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fresno-yosemite international airport, local, carlos saucedo
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