I thought I might post parts of my short story here for all to read. This story “A Cut Above Discrimination” shows how a country of wealth can turn their backs on those less fortunate, and the fight of one person who fought, and for a time won this fight. This is a non fiction story. Lived by me. I changed the names for legal reasons. I will post a new segment a couple times a week. Please enjoy
“A Cut Above Discrimination”
My career as a hairdresser began with an eighteen-month course at the Phil Pope School of cosmetology. Phil Pope taught much more than just the basic training needed to get a government certificate. It taught me that I belonged to a community and that my skills give me an important role to play in the lives of the people around me. Each month this school put aside one day a month to do hair and related services for free, accommodating those who were low income, homeless or in need. As it turned out this short singular day had a huge impact on me.
This ‘free’ day was the brainchild of Helena, the superintendent of Phil Pope and founder of the ‘free services to the needy program’ in our school. It was her quest to bring this world of injustice and the shameless neglect of the homeless and poor just one head closer to being a little more just. One look at Helena was enough to identify her as the originator of this type of education. As soon as anyone walked through the front glass double doors of the school they were met by Helena’s warm smile and friendly hello.Helena, in her late forties, was small in stature. Her soft blonde short hair perfectly styled and framing her heart shaped face. Her makeup professionally applied, displaying her students’ finest work. She spoke with authority, tempered with softness and caring, earning my respect immediately. This was a woman that everyone loved and admired. There was nothing she would not do for her students, school or customers if it was in her power to do so. I often heard Helena raise her voice in defense of her convictions.
It was common knowledge at school that Helena worked as a hairdresser when she was only sixteen but within two years had to give it up as a career due to an allergic reaction to the solutions. Displayed for all to see on the wall behind her desk was her original certificate with the yearly renewal stickers all in place. Although she was not hairdressing as a profession, she didn’t want to give up her license.