1960 entered the atmosphere – no where to begin. I returned to hard labor – I didn’t realize how enjoyable it was – sweating in the sun, digging in the earth. It was peaceful but I needed more money to survive. One day my career fell into my lap. I was in Oakland, CA and walked past a beauty school – hairdressing – I can do that. I walked in and started my ten year career.
1960, the beginning of rock and roll - San Francisco was bursting at its seams. Across the bay, I was loving the hairstyling classes. To take a wet head of hair and roll it and dry it and comb it out. It was a new avenue that I couldn’t believe I was doing. Graduation time came and I went into a real life of finally working. I spent a year at some fast paced salons. I decided to go to NYC Paris where the big boys were.
Of course, I didn’t speak French and since the French are very fluffy they didn’t like me. NYC was another planet – people racing from corner to corner. I worked in a 24 hour salon on 42nd St in Manhattan. A real eye opener. I stayed about six months and returned home. I found work quickly. The best thing about hairstyling is you don’t need references or a resume to find a job. You do a comb out and if you’re good, you’re hired. Within a year, I had my own salon.
While at hairstyling school, I met Harland Hand. He was finishing his home and garden. I rented a room from him and worked in his garden i.e. I was in charge of backpacking 80lb sacks of redimix concrete and 4cu ft bags of topsoil down the hill. It was a long way down and back up. He didn’t have any paper plans – he just put things together and it worked out. Upon his death, I believe the city of El Cerrito took over the grounds and made it a public garden.
Meanwhile, in my salon I was on a tear...