Thursday, December 28, 2017

Blanche's Permanent Wave

Rondy and Blanche Ledford after getting her first permanent wave. rage in the mountain town of Hayesville, North Carolina during the 1940s was bobbed hair and curls.  Those with straight hair got permanent waves, but many women simply set their hair at home using pin curls or twisted up in rags.

Movie stars such as Betty Grable and Ava Gardner influenced the fashion of women.  My aunts got hairstyles like these glamorous actresses.

My mother, Blanche, dreamed of getting her hair bobbed, too.  She enjoyed the cinema and these stars provided an escape from the gloom of World War II.

War influenced how women wore their hair.  Working in the fields, factories, or armed services, required hairstyles that would not get caught in machinery or in the way.

Many women who worked in factories wore trousers.  Granny Trese didn't approve of her daughters wearing pants.  She was a religious person and thought females should not dress like men.

Much to Granny's chagrin, her daughters wore trousers at home.  Pants were more comfortable than dresses to do housework.

Although Blanche never wore trousers, she still desired to bob her hair and get a permanent wave.  Of course Granny Trease frowned on that.

But Blanche's fiancée, Rondy Ledford, helped her fulfill a dream. He was serving with the Civilian Conservation Corps in Aquone, North Carolina.  One weekend Rondy came home and took Blanche to a movie.  She told him she wanted to bob her hair and get a permanent wave, but didn't have the money.  He gave her the cash to go to the beauty shop.

On Monday morning, Blanche sneaked into Mary Jo Burch's Beauty Shop.  She told her she wanted to bob her hair and get a perm.  When Blanche saw the wicked- looking permanent machine, it scared her to death.  She was afraid it would electrocute her.

But Mary Jo assured Blanche it was safe.  The machine had clips that hung from above and heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Dampened hair steamed and curled as it was heated on rods.

The machine got so hot that Mary Jo had to fan Blanche's head constantly.  The beautician and customer ran the risk of serious burns.

Blanche's heart raced and she broke into a sweat.  She promised herself if the beauty shop did not catch on fire, she would never get another permanent.

Hours later Blanche dragged out of Mary Jo's Beauty Shop with stiff and brittle hair.  Her fiancée loved her new hairstyle, but Granny Trese just rolled her eyes.

by:  Brenda Kay Ledford

The wicked-looking permanent wave machine!


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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Old-Fashioned Christmas

Not a sound
in the Matheson Cove,
snow glowing on black velvet,
cattle kneel at midnight.

Rabbit tracks zigzag
across the Shewbird Mountain,
wood smoke curves heavenward,
icicles hang from the log cabin.

Hickory sticks pop and crackle
in the fireplace,
cornpone bakes in the Dutch oven,
paper chains and popcorn

drape the fir tree.
Young'uns toss in the featherbeds,
listen for reindeer on the roof,
will Santa Claus find the cove?

Early on Christmas morning,
cranberry skies spill over
the Blue Ridge Mountains
echoing with sleigh bells.

Ronda, Reba, Ralph, Reuben, Rena,
Robenia, Robert and baby Ray,
grab goodies from their stockings:
apples, oranges, hazel nuts,

candy canes, peppermint drops,
and toys Granddaddy carved.
Before breakfast, Ma reads
the story of baby Jesus.

Robert gets his fiddle,
voices blend with carols.
An old-fashioned Christmas,
tinsel glistens in the candlelight.
--Brenda Kay Ledford

I wish all my blogger friends a blessed and peaceful Christmas.


The robins twitter as they fly, gems glitter on Hyatt-Mill Creek, purple crocus pop up, the year's at the spring. Cotton clouds k...