Mary Catalano's Beauty Shop with Josie, late 1940s, South Union St, Lawrence
A Hairdresser's Appointment Book in 1950
Rummaging in the bowels of my dad's cellar discovers a huge chunk of remembrances from my childhood and before. Up on one shelf was yet another box filled with just plain junk on top of what I considered a treasure -- my mom's appointment book from nana's shop in the year 1950.
Calendars from just 20 and 30 years ago lay on top. But 1950: why did she save that book in particular? More on question later.
Each column for January through December detailed each client --customers at the time-- a name, always with a proper Miss or Mrs. in front.
The services ranged from perms to polish on the nails. There were no answering machines then, so Mom relied on being there to answer the phone, take appointments, and service the walk-ins.
Some days were slow, with just one customer. And then some were just packed in and she barely stopped all day, working as late as ten o'clock --and off to the bus for home.
The services included a "treatment," shampoo and wave, a tint, and so forth. The cost for a shampoo and wave in 1950 was seventy-five cents! Other services were priced similarly.
Among the names she would mention over her next 51 years on earth, many were there in that book. I saw there listed the mother and aunts of one of my own especially loved clients Mrs. Pat P_____a. I've been servicing her nails for at least 20 years now! She tells me how she accompanied her mother to my mom's shop and would press her face into the window to see just how much longer mom would be.
Ah, if the book could only talk, what tales it could tell.
So, enough about business. Let's get down to romance in the beauty shop. Lo and behold, there were scribblings of my dad's (her future husband) name: his visitor's day there. And a year's appointments for her future sister-in-law, Aunt Ann DiZazzo (my mom finally spelled it correctly three-quarters through the year.) And, of course, her future mother-in-law, my nana Mrs. Mary DiZazzo!
Where there's beauty, there's love.
Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!