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American History
Leupp Hall, Cosmetology


      Every day was a party at Chilocco, it seemed.   We had our time for  socializing and dancing at the Flaming Arrow in the evenings after school and the evening meal.  There was  a designated study hall, and a time for doing our laundry, hair, and other home chores at the dormitory. The ironing room was a congregating place but little visiting was carried on there. It was necessary to take turns for a position at an ironing board. If we asked politely from one of the girls she would save the place for us while we hurried back to our room for what we needed to iron. It was the same with the washing machines. Usually they were not in use during the week though and only week-ends found them with a long waiting list.

      Some of the girls had signed up for the cosmetology classes and they were the ones who always had their hair coiffed just so.  There was one particular girl I always admired. She was petite with an “I don't care, happy go-lucky,  attitude.”  The girl always stayed out of trouble and the staff seemed to  like her. A steady boyfriend kept her tied up with giving attention to him so she didn't really make too many friends with the girls.

      “I love your hair. It always looks so neat!”  I admired her “do.”

       “I'm in cosmetology,” she told me.

        “I know. I couldn't take that and take home economics, too. Sure would be nice to have my hair done all the time. Your hair always looks so nice.”  I was not envious but definitely covetous for a style as charming as hers.

       “I can cut your hair.”  The girl was willing.

        “Really, can you? That would be just wonderful.”

        It didn't occur to me that the girls were closely supervised by an instructor. I just assumed they all were totally capable of being able to cut hair in a style like the one she wore.

        Everyone was congregated in my room while I sat and dutifully let the girl work on my hair.

       Only when her roommate opened the door to find her friend did we realize something was not as it should be.

       “Oh my! Oh my!  Oh Boy, are you ever in trouble.”  The girl who was a student in the same class stood in the doorway and didn't make an effort to come on in the room. Her face told us she was shocked.

        I jumped up to look in the mirror over my dresser. They were tall chest-of-drawers and you had to stand to see into them.

       “The image presenting itself was that of a girl who looked more like a gosling with feathers sticking out at every angle.”

        “You had better go show Miz Mac. Oh boy!  Are you ever in trouble!” Again the roommate spoke in a frightened voice.

        So it was,  we walked into the downstairs office of the girl's department;  me with a towel wrapped around my head. When I pulled it off the woman, who was an ex-military person, never cracked a smile. She was totally stoic and spoke with what always seemed to me, a mouth full of mush. She seemed to be totally aware of what had happened with no explanations needed.

       “I'll have to call your instructor.”  Miz Mac muttered.

       The hairstylist's roommate rolled her eyes as if to say, “I told you so, you are in trouble.”

      When Miz Mac hung up the phone, she informed me I was not to go to school the next morning but to report to the Cosmetology class first thing.

       I did get a new hairstyle. It was one with tiny permanent curls all over my head. The quick cosmetology instructor saw this as the only way to correct the creative haircut her novice cosmetology student  had given me.


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