Ann Little will be Grand Marshal, while Dan and Ramona Phillips will be King and Queen of Colony Days
ATASCADERO — Three of Atascadero’s residents have been awarded the roles of Grand Marshal, King, and Queen of Colony Days by the Atascadero Colony Days Committee. Ann Little will act as Grand Marshal, while Dan and Ramona Phillips will be crowned the King and Queen. All three will be honored at the upcoming Quota of Atascadero Tea on Sunday, Sept. 25, and lead the Colony Days Parade on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Little has been a resident since she and her late-husband Gaylen moved here after graduating from Cal Poly 46 years ago. The Littles were a part of the first remodel of Century Plaza, and Gaylen, a self-employed building contractor, constructed Creekside Lanes, a 26-lane bowling center many local residents fondly remember.
“We made this our home and raised two daughters, Stephanie and Jennifer, here from pre-school through high school,” she said.
Little not only worked in the Atascadero Unified School District, but she also hosted and found placements for international and summer exchange students all over the Central Coast for over 20 years through Youth for Understanding and the EF organization. She also participated in a peace exchange, called Soviets Meet Middle America, The Eagle and Bear Friendship Project, and more in the ’80s and ’90s.
Little continues to volunteer at the library bookstore and supports the Chamber of Commerce and the Printery Renovation Project.
Dan and Ramona Phillips have been here for 61 years since Dan opened Dan’s Barber Shop on El Camino Real. Between the three honorees, they have lived in Atascadero for 107 years.
“I’m glad that I’ve lived in Atascadero all these years, and it’s been very good to us and good for our family,” stated Dan, who’s also known in Atascadero as Dan the Barber.
In April, Dan and Ramona will have been married for 70 years, and on their next birthdays, Dan will be 90, and Ramona will be 87.
Dan is not only a barber, but he’s also a veteran. He was drafted into the Army and spent two years in the military, from 1952 to 1953, after he and Ramona married. He served in Korea for around 17 months. The Phillipses bought their home and business in Atascadero in 1961 and opened Dan’s Barber Shop on the very first day of 1962.
“We stopped down here, and there was a real estate office, and so we got to talking to the guy, and he said, ‘hey, you wanna buy this place?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, what do you got?” said Dan. “So he showed us the place, and I had my brother come and take a look at it. We bought it, and that was in 1961. So me and my brother put the barber shop in here. And we’ve been here ever since.”
Dan’s Barber Shop is one of the oldest businesses left in Atascadero. On top of his barbering, Dan was also a part of the Chamber of Commerce in his early years in Atascadero and was also involved in the Boy Scouts of America as the district chairman in the county. Dan and Romana are also proud members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
“It feels good. We’ve got a lot of friends. We’ve enjoyed our life here,” Dan says of being a part of the community for so long.
Be on the lookout for more in-depth articles on Ann Little and Dan and Ramona Phillips in the October issue of Atascadero News Magazine.
Feature Photo: (From left) Colony Days Grand Marshal Ann Little, and Colony Days King and Queen Dan and Ramona Phillips will be honored at the upcoming Quota of Atascadero Tea on Sunday, Sept. 25, and lead the Colony Days Parade on Saturday, Oct. 1. Photos by Hayley Mattson