Daily photo by Emily Saunders|
Faye Eubanks, right, has owned her beauty shop for 38 years, but is closing up shop at its current location in Trinity. She plans to open a new shop at Midway in about three weeks. With her Tuesday, the penultimate day for the Trinity House of Beauty, are Lee Smith, left, and Josie Sturgill.
Final cut at Trinity House of Beauty
Shop full of memories going, but hairdressing days are not over
TRINITY — The five women who showed up at Trinity House of Beauty on Wednesday morning are among Faye Eubanks' only customers.
She doesn't accept new clients. Judging from this quintet, it could be her hands are full with the ones she has.
The youngest in the building was 64, but they're cheerful, energetic and full of life, each poised to turn a joke at the twist of a comb.
But good-natured humor at the little shop on Alabama 24 near the post office, where Eubanks has been a hairdresser for 38 years, was tinged with sadness. Thursday is her last day.
Next week, contractors will begin plotting removal of the building to make way for a Dollar General store. Trinity volunteer firefighters will burn the shop down in a practice run.
Eubanks, 66, plans to remain open later than usual to give her clients a chance to let their hair down a final time and add to the wonderful memories.
Helen Hitt, 91, set the tone Wednesday, revealing the kind of fun regulars have.
"Where's Gaylon today?" she asked, playfully hitting on owner Faye Eubanks' husband. Eubanks explained that he's a bluegrass picker and was playing at the senior center in Moulton.
"We'll go by there, Dorothy," she said to her daughter, Dorothy Stephenson.
"And by the way," Hitt said. "You should have waited a few more days and given me a birthday party. I'll be 92 April 2."
Hitt has a right to party if she wants. Eubanks began doing her hair when she started her career in Trinity 40 years ago in Frances McCaughren's shop that she maintained in her house. The house eventually was torn down to make way for the post office.
Zettie Shelton, 69, of Decatur said she's been seeing Eubanks, a cousin, for her hair care for about that long. Lee Smith, 70, of Trinity began coming to the shop when she moved from Meridian, Miss., in 1993.
"I'll pay her just to scrub my head and massage my scalp," Smith said.
"Please," Eubanks said, "say 'shampoo.' "
But Eubanks understands her friend's sentiment. She said customers tell her they "could come up here and wouldn't have to take a nerve pill."
The others joining the fun as the clock ticked down were Josie Sturgill, 68, and Mamie Parker, 64.
And all listened as Eubanks shared memories, such as the day she stepped next door for lunch, leaving her son, Tommy Blaxton, then 8, in charge.
"And did he take it seriously," she said. "Burnell Waldrop dropped in and Tommy went over and got a stool. He placed it by the sink, stood on it and said, 'Come on, I'll wash your hair.' Burnell told me what a fine job he did, and I was shaking, thinking, 'What if he had scalded her?' "
Eubanks vividly remembers April 3, 1974, when deadly tornadoes swept the area.
"I got everybody in my car and drove them to my home," she said. "We left behind everything — specs, money, the works. Geneva Gray came in and surveyed the scene. 'Oh, my, they wouldn't have left the money,' she thought. 'The rapture has taken place, and I've been left behind!' "
And in a story for the men, Eubanks said she has cut Greg Standridge's hair for years.
"He's a minister," she said. "He's a sweet man, and I told him when I die, I want him to conduct my funeral. He said, 'And my hair better be cut and looking good. If not, I'll point to the casket and say, 'She done it!' "
The bottom line is that the good times aren't over for Eubanks' stream of faithful customers, although they'll have to travel about five miles up the road to the Midway Flea Market, where her grandson, Tim Blaxton Jr., is arranging a new shop for her.
She expects to be back in business in three weeks.
"Yeah, and we'll be in bad shape by then," said Smith. "But we'll follow her anywhere."
"Yes," agreed Shelton. "We'll be looking like wild women, our hair sticking out everywhere."
Between haircuts, Eubanks retrieved the broom and swept the floor.
"What am I doing?" she said. "They're gonna burn this place down."
And Parker walked out in tears. Thursday, that scene is likely to be repeated.
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