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
congregated in my room while I sat and dutifully let the girl work on my
Only when her roommate
opened the door to find her friend did we realize something was not as it
“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.
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.