It was great having a cosmetology class from Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena come on Thursday to give many of our ladies a hairdo and make-up job. Our third floor was decorated with things that make a beauty shop special.
Ladies from both Fair Oaks Lodge and Fair Oaks Apartments took advantage of this offer and the big room on the third floor was lively with ladies in various stages of being made beautiful by nine young ladies who will soon graduate.
Instructors Bobbie Bernstetter and Darlene Weibye said their classes were enjoying the day, and that it was a valuable experience. The classes take 14 months to graduation and run all through the year.
A valuable byproduct was conversation generated among residents after the experience was over, about their first hairdo in a shop, or how they were clasped by curlers to a big machine to get a permanent. Several had tried home coloring their hair that didn't work out.
Fair Oaks beauty operator Donna Longie, with an assist from Pat Harrison when she needs it, does hair for nine or 10 residents a day. Each resident's hair is done each week, with a new set if they are to attend some special function.
Donna has been in this shop since in 1997. She knows how important having hair looking nice is, so she tries to give each resident the style that looks best on them. Getting hair done each week is a looked forward to activity.
A column about getting hair done would not be complete without a visit with Bunny Piepkorn of Bunny's Beauty Shop.
Bunny attended Roger and Berner Beauty College in Minneapolis, where she stayed with Margaret Carlson (Hanson) and Elizabeth Carlson (Erickson) at the old Marigold Apartment House in downtown Minneapolis.
It was 65 years ago, when Bunny was 21, that she set the first head of hair in a shop for money. She worked a short time in Perham before buying a shop in Wadena, where she is still doing a third generation's hair needs.
We talked about the many changes, like most women had long hair then, and few men came in. Permanents involved a machine with hot clamps for a style called the "croquino." It was a big step forward when cold waves came in.
High puffy hairdos, with lots of back combing, adjacent to spectacles with huge lenses to achieve a particular image were favored next. It was not unheard of for wood ticks to crawl under one of those high, seldom-combed hairdos.
I spent the next hour looking through the items in an 1947 catalog filled with potions, all aimed at making milady beautiful, as well as a few pages geared toward men.
A few enticing products were a raft of shampoos, like Mar-O-Oil and Vita-Creme or Eternal Tint Oil Shampoo. There was New Belvedere Whiz Hair Spray and Clairol Night and Day Mascara.
A Standup Neck Duster went for $1.25 as did a New Improved Whalebone Whisk Broom. Bully Wooly Powder Puffs were on sale and a 1946 new model permanent wave machine, complete with 32 heaters and 32 spacers and curlers, could be had for $350.
An item that looked like it couldn't miss being good for something was Lucky Tiger Ointment, 6 oz. for only $1.25, found in the back pages devoted to barber shop needs.
It was said to be effective at healing itching, burns, athletes foot, ringworm, rectal irritation, chigger and mosquito bites, scalp irritations and even head colds, wouldn't you know it?
Sincere thanks to the girls in the cosmetology classes for their time, expertise, and fine friendly visiting. We hope they will come again.