Don’t Touch the Hair

My Grandma Frantz had the same hair style my entire life. She colored her hair (as I have done) for a long time but eventually she stopped, and it was a lovely shade of white. I do hope I have inherited that gene. But the style was always the same. Done once a week at the beauty parlor; washed, set and combed out into a helmet like fashion. Shellacked with hairspray and done. No one could touch the hair. No one until maybe the Thursday night prior to her hair appointment on Friday.

When I would spend a few weeks with them in the summer, I was allowed to go to the beauty parlor. It was quite amazing to me. Her hairdresser had a shop in a trailer in a trailer park and I could go and sit and watch tv. Sometimes she would even let me take the rollers out of grandma’s hair as long was I was very careful not to disturb the curl and worked slowly. But once she finished my grandma’s hair, I could not touch it again until maybe Thursday night.

Vivian Frantz and Alex

Fast forward, I give birth to my son and he and my grandmother have a special bond. Even as a toddler he could reach out and touch her hair (it was quite interesting to touch, sort of like cotton candy but not sticky) and she would just laugh and catch his little hand and redirect. But it was no big deal. As he got older and acquired his beard, she would ask to touch it and he would say only if I can touch your hair. It became their “thing” and almost every time they were together, either as a greeting or a goodbye.

Alex and Vivian Frantz

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