Monday, September 8, 2008

Short Clips Of A Year Ending

The year of 1965 was nearly to a close. It had been a year of political unrest & frustrations. North Vietnam was trying to overtake South Vietnam. The U.S. sent Military advisers & then more soldiers. Over 200,000 American troops were in South Vietnam. The war that 'wasn't going on', was now admitted to be real by the government. Anti-war protests were starting up in masses in practically all of the colleges, draft dodgers were fleeing to Canada, & the racial unrest in the country was at an all time peek. Malcolm X, was assassinated, which caused more racial conflict.
We were cleaning up after a very long, busy day at the salon. The doors were locked & Josef was telling Charles, how he could 'change his life' for the better, jokingly, if Charles would 'experiment a new lifestyle' with him. This was an ongoing joke between those two, & I personally loved the batter between them. Josef, with his, lash batting, wrist flipping, hand on the hip pose, & Charles with his 'macho', womanizing attitude, caused the most hilarious scenario, all of us enjoyed.
"Gentleman!", Vidal held up his hand to Josef & Charles, "May I interrupt this flirtatious moment, please?"
All of us turned to Vidal.
"I'm sorry to interrupt you 'love birds', but I need to speak with all of you for a minute."
The shop was suddenly still.
"Ladies back there," Vidal motioned to Agnes, Judy, Maria & Lisa, our two manicurists, "I want ALL of you to hear this!"
We all gathered around Vidal.
"Due to this war, & the racial conflict going on in this country right now, I'm asking all of you to please, do NOT, give your personal feeling and/or beliefs to your clients, should you be engaged in a conversation about these subjects. Politics & religion is off limits."
"Vidal", Michele spoke up, "Everyone is talking about that stuff!"
"Yes, I know. Listen to them, nod your head in understanding, BUT, do not express your beliefs or feeling on these topics. At best, it might cause a friendly argument, at worst it WILL cost you a customer, may cost ALL of us customers, since we can hear the different discussions going on at other stations. But, for yourselves & each other, keep the conversation neutral."
"But, Vidal," I spoke up, "I'm against this war & so are all of us. I think that the Blacks have a right to equality in this country."
"Good, CeCe, but don't express your beliefs to the clients. We have some very powerful, & rich clients that come to us. Their beliefs & power is much stronger at the moment than what we have. I'm not saying not to talk about these subjects with them, everyone is talking about it. I'm just asking all of you, not to express to the client your personal beliefs & feelings. Some of these people feel President Johnson is right for keeping the war going, some don't. Some feel that the Blacks in this country should still be slaves & some don't. These are very powerful issues. Don't allow your feeling about them ruin your career, & that is what I fear could happen to some or all of you. Being 'Black Balled' right now is not the wisest thing to do. So, guys & gals, protect yourselves & each other. With that said, Beverly is across the street, who ever wants to join us, I'm buying drinks & dinner."

1 comment:

Becci said...

Althought it's very very hard I have to keep my personal beliefs to my self because it's a fact..I have lost customers with my opinion that didn't match theirs! Bummer! It's super hard these days to keep my opinion silent because I really think that the amdmistration is...Ooops, never mind! HA!

Have a great hair day! Becci