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Carol Perkins: Blue and Gray

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By Carol Perkins

As the season finale of basketball approaches, I had a thought about a time when I was in the eighth grade and a homecoming memory. The incident wasn't funny at the time, but has become a classic.

I was a proud Bluejay cheerleader, and homecoming night was the highlight of the year, and our principal took the night very seriously. In the Edmonton High School gym, blue and white crepe paper hung from the balcony and across the back of the wooden bleachers were signs. We cheerleaders were given time off to go to Fanny's Beauty Shop to get our hair "done." That's when the trouble began.

This was the era of dyed hair--pink was a good color. Connie often modeled for one of the hairdressers at Fanny's and did so with colored hair. So, when that same hairdresser suggested we might want to spray our hair gray to match our uniforms, we thought it was a clever idea. When we got back to school with our newly sprayed hairdo, the reaction we got was not what we expected.

One of the teachers spotted us first. She held her breath and went up the stairs, two by two, after the principal. Down he came with a thunder in his step that only he could project. "What have you all done?" We tried to paint a clever picture of our intention, but he was having none of it.

He walked over to one girl and tried to brush out the gray. "I've invited important people tonight and I'll not have you all looking like this." He called Fanny's and marched us back there to get that "stuff" washed out. Up and down the street we went with our gray hair and tears flowing. A few people stopped us along the way and we did not hold back with our woes.

The hairdresser had to redo all five of us that afternoon, along with her regular customers. She sent a bill to the principal, which he vowed not to pay.

The night went off as he planned and we were presentable. If our parents had gotten a look at the mess we came back to school wearing, they would have marched us back themselves.

The lesson is that young people have no sense/judgment when it comes to suggestions made by adults for whom they trust. The hairdresser should have known better, but she was all caught up in the rage of color. We should have known better, but we didn't. GRAY? Not a good look on thirteen year olds.

It wasn't funny at the time, but the incident is now a classic.

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2022-02-28 14:23:31
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