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David Scharps can only describe the feeling one way: like an earthquake.
He was sleeping peacefully inside his Montecito home when his bedroom started shaking. Alone in the dark, he ran and looked outside to see boulders and mud racing down the creek bed at 60 mph.
“The house was shaking from the boulders,” Scharps said. “It came within 40 feet of my backyard.”
He grabbed his beloved Rhodesian ridgeback dogs, dashed to his car, and started driving, but didn’t make it very far. A few feet later, his car was stuck in the mud. Scharps got out and fled.
Ten days later, Scharps is among the thousands of people evacuated from Montecito.
But on Thursday, Scharps found a little bit of refuge with a familiar face, a friend and fellow evacuee, in an unlikely spot: a backroom of Jamie Slone Wines at 23 E. De La Guerra.
That’s where Scharps paid $40 for a haircut from his favorite stylist, Richie Ramirez, owner of Richie’s Barber Shop.
Richie's has set up a pop-up shop at Jamie Slone Wines. Slone contacted the barber and offered the space for free. Ramirez was thrilled. He has not been able to access his shop to work.
“How am I supposed to make rent if I can’t cut hair,” Ramirez told Noozhawk. “My mattress money is dwindling.”
Ramirez said he’s giving about the half the haircuts a day that he normally would at his Coast Village Road shop.”
Ramirez said his insurance company denied payment because it doesn’t cover mudslides and flooding. He’s one of the dozens of businesses scrambling to survive since the wicked mudslides killed at least 20 people and devastated the South Coast. Highway 101 has been closed since Jan. 9.
The Honor Bar also has opened a pop-up shop — inside the Public Market.
Other stores are looking to follow suit. There’s no telling when they will be able to open their doors again.
While some stores on Coast Village Road won’t be able to survive the prolonged closure, Richie plans to move forward.
“I’m a survivor,” he said. “I am going to do whatever I can to stay open.”