"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Sunday, June 15, 2014

remembering lanis

Every summer when I was at 8 week sleep-away camp, I received weekly letters from my mom. They were always written while she was under the dryer at Lanis' Beauty Parlor.

Like most women of her generation, Mom had her hair washed and set at a standing appointment in a small beauty salon. Lanis' was a cute little place from which many blue haired women emerged. (My mom never dyed her hair; she had a beautiful crown of white hair that remained thick and wavy until the day she died.)

The letters she wrote while her head was decorated with small multicolored plastic rollers were newsy. So-and-so got engaged, she and Dad saw a good play at he University, there had been a loud thunderstorm mid-week, my little sister had spent the night at Connie's. I remember the curvy, delicate lines of her cursive and the monogrammed stationary upon which it perched - just like it was yesterday.

My barbershop project inspired me to poke my head in at some beauty parlors this past week. In a flood of memories, I thought of Lanis. I could easily recall the days I sat in her waiting area leafing through Highlights Magazine and Archie comic books while my mom sat poised beneath her skillful hands. I could conjure up the smell of Adorn and Aqua Net. I went straight back to sinks, the hair dryers, the smocks. I remembered the time Lanis cut my hair, and I left in tears because it was too short.

Here are a couple pictures I made this week in places that took me back to Lanis', those letters I got at camp and the smell of my mother's hair. I think there might be more of these in order. I like going back, you know.


Chris Dahlquist said...

I spent many a Friday morning in the beauty parlor with my grandmother. She had a 11am appointment with Eric for over twenty-five years so it would still be perfect for church on Sunday morning. If I was well behaved in the waiting area I could have a milkshake with my lunch at Foxx's Drugstore. Thank you for the memories!

Gloria Baker Feinstein said...

That's a nice memory, Chris. Thx for sharing. I think we women could make a pretty cool book with our collective beauty parlor stories.