Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema
was a beautician. My childhood revolved around our mom’s beauty
shop. When I was five dad and mom bought my childhood home, in
Conway, Missouri. They continued to live there until 1981, when dad
1948 mom opened Juanita’s Beauty Shop in Conway, in our front
bedroom. Her beauty equipment consisted of three hair dryers, one
styling station with shampoo bowl, and a manicure table and chair.
She purchased a Coca Cola machine, with the original tiny green
bottles. She dearly loved cokes, and was her own best customer. Dad
built her two shelves for her to display and she sold makeup, mostly
Revlon lipsticks and compacts.
had an electric permanent wave machine, with wires and clamps hanging
down. To a five-year old little girl, it looked scary. A year or two
later it disappeared. They either sold it, or got rid of it. She
started giving permanents to her customers with permanent wave
was up at 5:00, then she had to clean her shop, and get ready for the
day. At 8:00 a.m. she’d start her appointments, and work most
afternoons until 6:00 p.m. six days a week Monday – Saturday.
sister Connie and I walked to and from school, and we’d come
home to the smell of permanent wave solution, chatter and laughing.
and dad both were hard workers, with a strong work ethic, which they
passed down to us. Her shop and our house had no air-conditioner
until I left home at eighteen.
the late fifties, dad made her a water-cooler air-conditioner for her
shop. Mom was an independent woman, and way ahead of her time. In
the forties and fifties, when most women were traditional moms, and
stayed home raising the kids, mom wanted more.
1951, dad and mom had a much larger room built on adjacent to our
house for a new beauty shop. She had much more room for her customers
and I were given chores when we were little. We were washing dishes
at five. One of us would wash, and the other one would dry. Other
chores we had were vacuuming, dusting, and hanging laundry on the
clothes line, even in the winter. This was long before electric
washers and dryers. Mom washed on a wringer washing machine, with two
built up a good business, with most of Conway and the surrounding
area. It was a small town, where everybody knew everybody. Hair was
important in our house, and most of my childhood memories revolved
around that beauty shop.
used to say, “If a woman has a $100 dress on, and her hair
looks bad, she looks bad. Appearance isn’t everything, but if a
woman looks good. Hair is at the top of that list.
closed her beauty shop in 1970. She had been fixing hair for thirty
years and was ready for a change. She later took the Civil Service
test for a clerical job at Ft. Leonard Wood, close to Waynesville,
Missouri. She passed it, but her typing speed couldn’t have
been over 25 words a minute, because she’d never typed. Mom
retired at age sixty-two from Ft. Leonard Wood. She remained active
until at age sixty-seven, she had a stroke.
the mid-nineties she started having mini-strokes. They wiped out her
entered herself into Manor Care Assisted Living in 2000, and died in
2003, after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease the four years
before she died.
She was still wrapping her fingers around a bobbie
pin until she died.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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