July 24, 2021


One of the fun things about looking at old photos is seeing how styles keep changing!  I like this photo from the late 1980s because of my wild glasses and curly hairstyle—not to mention the dashboard of Mother’s 1962 Plymouth Fury.  Some friends had gone with me from Columbia to Athens to bring it back to be Patrick’s “starter car” now that he was old enough to drive. 

We had a grand time on the trip over and back, with frequent stops at gas stations on the way back to add water to the overheating Fury. Those mountain roads were like a stress test for the old car, I suppose. It was a hard pull, but the old girl made it!

Now, back to my hair.  Premature gray hair was in my genes.  My father said he had gray hair in his twenties and I followed suit.  At first just a shock of hair in the front turned gray. In college, people were always commenting, “Did you know you have gray hair?”  Of course I knew.  When I grew tired of the remarks I began using a brunette rinse on my hair—not too dark, but covering the gray.  At first, it was just a temporary rinse I used every few weeks.

When I went back to work after my divorce, my Columbia hairdresser recommend shorter haircut and a blonde rinse.  Curly perms were all the rage, so of course that’s what I had.

This second photo was made on the same trip—probably at a Bojangles drive-through.  Notice the hairstyle from the back.  My hair stylist Susan explained that I have cowlicks at the nape of my neck and to disguise that she left a border of straight hair at the bottom.  It’s obvious that I was due for a new “coloring” appointment. 

After moving to Nashville, I continued with the blonde look, but with little curl.  At some point, it no longer seemed like me and I went “all natural.” By that point, my hair was very gray indeed—and no longer prematurely!  Somehow I feel like I’ve earned my gray hair.

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