December is a time when life changing decisions are made. This includes the shocking news of my hairdresser, Carol, retiring after 46 years. Knowing Carol for more than 30 years was a blessing of friendship and affection. By nature she’s not a quitter, so why did she decide to retire on the last day of December 2014? It wasn’t for health reasons, although she has her share of allergies and back-pains. It wasn’t for travel reasons, or to spend more time with her kids or cats whom she viewed as part of her family.
Carol started out in Garfinkels, equivalent to today’s Neiman Marcus, as a hairdresser in Seven Corners, Virginia. When Garfinkels closed doors almost 40 years ago, Carol took an entrepreneurial leap and opened up her own salon. Her long time customers came along and included some very interesting people in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. She cut hair for everyone from nurses to postal workers, lawyers, and movie stars such as Shirley McLaine! Her legacy speaks volumes.
Why do I love Carol? Because she lived life on her own terms with impeccable work ethics. On the personal side, she is compassionate and caring to the point of not accepting money from those who cannot afford her services. She is a hair styling wizard enjoyed seeing her work her magic on several customers simultaneously all at the same time! To know Carol is to love her. She has individualistic styles from her dressing, hats and high platform shoes before they even become popular. Not being fluent in English did not present a problem for her or her customers. She even managed to learn a little Spanish when she sold her shop to Yolanda’s.
To witness the retirement of Carol is a reminder that people are not always going to be around forever no matter how great or successful they are. I was lucky to have her as a friend and hairdresser for over 30 years.
It is a moving moment to see the closing of a small business and a dear friend I shall miss seeing every monthly appointment. Good luck Carol! Your work, dedication and compassion will always be remembered!