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In episode 27, the BGMC met the last week in September. With a month of competition behind them the seven swimmers have excelled and have all met the qualifying times for the Spring Championship meet in at least one solo event as well as a relay event. They intend to compete to gain experience beyond that involved in their high school competitions and to do well enough to qualify for Nationals in the summer.

A number of new people have found out about the BGMC and came to the meeting to be greeted enthusiastically by the members. Among them are Deedee and her Mother Helen, and the sisters Vicki and Arlene and their Mother Joyce. The sisters had talked with Christine and Melissa respectively and Arlene had wanted to get her head shaved like Melissa, but was allowed only a buzz cut.

This episode is about these girls their Mothers and another Mother with her son and daughter.

Week 17

Thursday Afternoon at Kate’s Shop

It was four PM and Kate had already had a busy day. She would take a break between five and six fifteen when she had her first evening appointment, and she would be quite content if no more customers showed up. It had been an interesting day with two of her regular women customers coming in for trims, but ending up deciding to get very short crops and one regular having her buzz made even shorter. The evening promised to be interesting as well with one customer getting her short light brown hair colored red and cut shorter. Kate had tidied up around her chair and had taken a seat when the bell rang.

“Hello Kate. I glad you’re not busy right now. We’re bringing you some business,” Joyce spoke cheerily as she, Vicki and Arlene came in.

“My goodness, it’s good to see you. We met at the Club meeting last week if I’m not mistaken,” Kate responded.

“That’s right Kate. We did meet there. I’m Joyce and these are my girls, Vicki and Arlene. I was really impressed by all the women I met with buzz cuts and shaved heads. It was inspiring, and after the initial shock I liked the bald look on all those girls. It was amazing. George, my husband, thinks we’re all a little nuts, but said we should do whatever we liked. It’s a good thing that he’s so easy going. Anyway the girls lobbied me for three days. I finally gave in and joined them. They are determined to have their heads shaved and I’m going for a nice buzz cut with a little fringe of bangs. I saw some pictures of that on a web site,” Joyce said. “I’d really like to have it colored a nice red too, but I think I’ll wait a little while for that. So hear we are ready for our transformations.”

“Wonderful. I thought perhaps I’d have nothing to do for the remainder of the day, but I’m delighted to be able to take care of you. I’m going to put out my closed sign right now. I don’t think I could handle any more customers this afternoon. Who wants to go first. I think getting you shaggy girls nice and shiny smooth should be the first order of business,” Kate joked.

“I’m the youngest so I want to be first. Besides, I’ve been wanting to get my head shaved the longest,” Arlene said.

“Go ahead Arlene. You really did a lot to talk Dad into letting us do it. And anyway I’m still a little scared about doing it even though I think Christine is really great looking,” Vicki told her.

“You’ll look great Vicki. Just like those other girls. I can’t wait to see you with it smooth shaved and a little shiny,” Joyce encouraged her.

“She’s right you know Vicki. You will look terrific. I know because I helped a lot of girls become confident beauties by shaving their heads for them. Joyce, you might want to look at my scrapbooks. I have a lot of pictures of women with buzzes and a little fringe. You might find exactly what you’re looking for there,” Kate suggested.

“That sounds like a good idea Kate. I’ll have a look.

“OK, Arlene. Sit down in my big chair here and we’ll get started,” Kate told her.

Like Penny, Arlene was a midfielder and was quick and agile. She was in the chair in a blink. Kate thought she might be a bit taller than Penny.

“I really want to be on the soccer team with Melissa and her friends. They’re going to be the best and I want to be able to play the way they do. I’m going to practice really hard and work out. I guess I have to get good grades too. I’m going to do it,” Having seen at first hand the way the Amigas could play Arlene verbalized her determination to equal them.

“I’m sure you can do it. I’m ready to get started Arlene. I’m using my big clipper to get you ready to be shaved smooth as silk. Head down,” Kate ordered and immediately ran the clipper up the back of Arlene’s head. Three more passes up the back had left it nearly bare. Around the left side Kate quickly went around her ear and up high on the side removing the sideburn in the process. Moving to the right side she repeated the process leaving Arlene’s head with what looked like a high and tight crewcut.

Vicki laughed at the result. “Arlene that looks so funny with it all shaved on the sides and back and buzzed on top.”

“Don’t worry Arlene, It will be all gone in a jiffy and then I’ll make you beautiful with a smooth shiny head just like Melissa and the other girls,” Kate reassured her.

“Make sure you make Vicki look silly when it’s her turn so I can laugh at her,” Arlene said giggling.

Kate had made three passes from front to back and was finishing the last two. Arlene was now clipper shaved except for a few ridges which Kate quickly remedied.

“There you go Arlene. All ready for a good close, clean shave,” Kate said. She had already warmed up the gel that she was beginning to use more frequently now that she knew that it allowed for a smoother and less irritating shave. She applied it evenly over Arlene’s head and allowed it to soften the hair.

“Well, I found just what I want Kate,” Joyce said as she sat down. “And Arlene you’re about to get a nice smooth shave I see. I want to see this. Kate I’m going to have to get one of those shaver that Abby mentioned and especially some of that special moisturizer.”

“No problem Joyce. I have both of them and the shaving gel right here now. I’ve had such a call for them that I decided to stock up. I keep everything you need,” Kate responded.

Kate had started at the front of Arlene’s head and was nearly half way back where she would stop and do the sides and around the back before finishing the top. It had become a routine.

“Joyce, I can’t shave her head as smooth as I would an adult because her skin is too tender. You’ll need to go a little easy for the first couple of weeks. After that you can use a little more pressure and get it smoother. Same with Vicki. You can shave only every other day after about three weeks,” Kate explained. “Oh, and you should get some of this sun screen bronzer for them too. They’ll get a little color in a week or so, but you’ll have to wait until next summer for them to have a nice tan the way the other girls have. I think that Paula found a new face shiner makeup that works very well when they want a shine for a special occasion.”

Kate had finished the sides and back and was nearly finished with the top back. She continued to explore where she had shaved and gently reshaved a few spots that seemed a little too rough.

“You look really good Arlene,” Vicki told her. “After Kate puts on that bronzer you’ll look great.”

“Indeed you do. I’m already looking forward to keeping you nice and smooth. And I can’t wait to have a chance to hug you and feel your adorable smooth head,” Joyce said enthusiastically.

“I need to put on some special moisturizer and the bronzer Joyce. Then she’ll be done,” Kate told her as she applied the moisturizer to Arlene’s head and gently massaged it.

“Wow, that feels really nice Kate,” Arlene said. “Mom, can you do that too?”< /p>

“I’ll certainly try, but I doubt I can do it as well as Kate,” Joyce responded.

“There. You’re done Arlene, and you’re one really sweet cherub,” Kate told her as she rotated the chair so that Arlene could see herself in the big mirror.

A big grin appeared on Arlene’s face as she saw herself freshly shaved for the first time. She struggled to get her hand out from under the cape and feel her newly exposed and sensitive scalp which she explored avidly.

“Mom, I really love it! It looks so neat and it feels so wild. I’m going to keep it shaved like this,” Arlene spoke with elation.

“You do look kind of cute, Arlene. I think you should keep it shaved like that,” Vicki encouraged her.

Joyce had stood up as Kate removed the cape and Arlene jumped down and ran to her. Joyce enfolded her in a bear hug and then felt her head rubbing it gently and patting it in turn.

“It’s perfect Arlene. I agree, you should never let it grow out again,” Joyce voiced her enthusiasm.

“I won’t Mom. Come and feel it Vicki. It feels so soft and smooth,” Arlene said.

“Vicki reached up and felt Arlene’s head as she leaned over to her.

“Wow, that really is soft and smooth Arlene. I guess I had better get mine done. I think I’m going to like having it like that,” Vicki exclaimed.

“Well, what are you waiting for Vicki. My chair is all ready for you,” Kate laughed.

“OK, I’m ready,” Vicki exclaimed. “I think I’m going to be the first member of our new bald gymnastics team.”

Kate quickly wrapped the paper around her neck and fastened the cape over it, then folding the paper over the cape.

“Now that would be a real move forward. A bald girls gymnastics team. I’ll bet that if you work hard enough and prove yourself, you’ll definitely get the other girls to join you. You won’t have to say a thing except that you like being bald,” Kate told her as she began running her clipper up the back of Vicki’s head.

“I’m not the best on our club team yet, but I’m going to be. I’m going to work super hard from now on,” Vicki told her. “One of the other girls said she liked the way Christine looked. So maybe she’ll get shaved after a while.”

Kate was now using the clipper on the top of Vicki’s head rapidly reducing her to short bristles. A few more passes competed the job.

“That would be nice. It’s always good to have someone else around who shares your ideas. Of course you do have Arlene,” Kate told her as she spread gel on her head. “I’m about ready to get started on your shave Vicki. I just need to sharpen my razor.”

“It feels awesome to have it shaved Vicki, but the best part is putting on the moisturizer,” Arlene told her.

“Here we go, Vicki,” Kate announced as she tilted Vicki’s head forward and made the first strokes of the razor. The process proceeded quickly but carefully as Kate did the top front, the sides and then the back. She examined the result and reshaved a few areas.

“Well, that didn’t take too long. You’re nice and smooth Vicki. Not a hair out of place either,” Kate laughed. “You can feel it if you like, but I still have to put on your moisturizer and bronzer.

“It looks wonderful Vicki. You’re going to love it. So clean and Angelic looking,” Joyce voiced her strong approval. “I think your Dad is going to like how you both look. It’s very beguiling.”

“That’s right Joyce, but they need some nice earrings to complement the look. Hoops are good and a pair of hoops or a combination of hoops and studs works well. Did you notice that all the bald girls had two or three piercings?” Kate asked.

“That’s right Mom, they all had several earrings, even Sandy had two pairs. They looked good,” Vicki took up the cause.

“Kate was massaging Vicki’s head with the moisturizer and she suddenly responded to the hypnotic effect of having her bald head stimulated in this amazing fashion.

“Oh, my God Kate. That feels so incredibly good. Can you show Mom how to do that,” Vicki erupted.

“I’m sure I can show her how to do it Vicki. I told some of the other Moms that if you want the kids to stay bald for the rest of their lives, just give them a nice head massage every day or so. They’ll never want to have hair on their head again,” Kate told her.

“You’re right Kate. If I can have a head massage like that I’ll never give it up just to have hair. I wouldn’t care how I looked. Can I actually see it now?”

“Wait just a bit longer then you’ll get the full effect. I just need to put on a little bronzer to give you some color. There, it’s done,” Kate said as she spun her around.

Vicki looked at the girl in the mirror with the big eyes and perfectly smooth head. It took a moment, but eventually a huge smile appeared on her face. “It’s awesome Kate! I like it. I love it! I look so cool! Its fantastic! I look just as good as those girls on the Forest swimming team,” Vicki exclaimed.

“Of course you do, Vicki. It was obvious from the beginning that you would be an outstanding baldy,” Kate told her as she removed the cape and vicki stepped out of the chair to be embraced by Joyce who held her head and patted it, finally giving her a kiss as high up as she could reach

“You look absolutely wonderful Vicki. I can’t imagine why I was so reluctant for you to get it buzzed. You should never even give a thought to letting it grow again,” Joyce told her.

“Thanks Mom. I do like it, but it will take a little time to get used to going everywhere with a bald head. I’m pretty sure I’ll keep it shaved,” Vicki responded.

“So, Joyce, I think it’s your turn to experience my magic chair.”

Joyce stepped up onto the footrest and turned to sit down. “Hum. And what is it that makes it magic?” she asked.

“Well, it’s like this. Women and girls who sit in it and get short cuts, buzzes and head shaves are always absolutely delighted with the result and keep coming back for trims, often shorter then the first cut. Even more remarkable, the ones who get shaved seem to be so giddy with delight that they express the desire never to let it grow again. I’ve shaved only a handful of women in the past couple of years and, amazingly, they all keep themselves shaved. They come by occasionally just to let me know how happy they are with their shaved heads. I think it’s quite astounding. And of course none of the girls or women that I’ve shaved this past summer have any intention of letting their hair grow again,” Kate explained.

“It is astounding Kate. And I think the magic affected me even when I wasn’t sitting in it. How else could I have found myself so taken with the girls shaved heads that I’m promoting the idea that they should remain bald for the rest of their lives, when only three weeks ago I was arguing with them about their desire to get buzz cuts,” Joyce said with some perplexity. “I saw all those bald girls and I suppose that had some effect. Somehow it didn’t seem unnatural when I saw them acting quite normally and enjoying each other’s company. I’m quite ready for my buzz cut and wherever that may eventually lead.”

Vicki, who had been listening to this conversation while she explored her newly exposed head and admired it in the mirror had a sudden thought. “Mom, if I qualified for the national meet next August would you shave your head?”

Joyce was momentarily speechless. Vicki, only fourteen, was a talented gymnast and already rated as eight on the scale of ten. She was improving rapidly under the tutelage of her coach in the private academy where a number of promising gymnasts trained, although she still performed with her school team. Vicki was ambitious and determined and Joyce supported her. “I think that was a challenge wasn’t it. OK, I’ll pick up the gauntlet. I promise that I’ll have Kate shave my head smoot
h as a billiard ball if you make it to the August meet. We can go as a bald Mother/Daughter team. How’s that?”

Vicki laughed. “That’s great Mom. You’re definitely going to be bald next August. Just watch me.”

“I’m certainly going to keep an eye on you. I have to be sure you’re smoothly shaved you know,” Joyce joked with her.

“Kate, I understand that the moisturizer will make shaving them easier and less frequent as you use it. How well does it work?” Joyce asked.

“Quite well as a matter of fact. Christine, Melissa and Tess shave only once a week now and some of the others only twice a week. It takes about three months to reach that stage. If you keep using it daily it seems to continue to work and after six months you’ll probably need to shave only once every two weeks,” Kate responded.

“That sounds great, but what if you want to, you know, not shave at all ever. Is there a way to have it like that,” Joyce asked.

“Well, yes there is. That what Steffie is doing. She’s getting laser treatments on her head. She’s close to being permanently bald already,” Kate told her.

“I guess the moisturizer won’t do that even if you keep using it. Aren’t laser treatments expensive?” Joyce asked, obviously intrigued by the thought of her two girls becoming permanently bald.

“There’s isn’t much information on the moisturizer for long term use. The brochure suggests that it may work for a year or more, making the hair grow more and more slowly. Maybe eventually it will just stop growing, I don’t know. As far as laser treatments go, I looked it up on the Web and there are a couple of sites that have it listed for men who want to be permanently bald. You can get it done for less than a thousand dollars and that includes four follow up treatments,” Kate explained.

“Is anyone besides Steffie doing anything like that,” Joyce asked her interest in the idea continuing to grow.

“I know that a number of the kids including Melissa, Christine, Tess and others are planning to do it in a few years. Paula told me the idea has gone through her head. What are you thinking about Joyce?” Kate asked

“I shouldn’t be letting my mind think about such things, but I couldn’t help but imagine how Vicki and Arlene would look years from now if they remained bald. I think they look so sweet and adorable that I started thinking of how to make it permanent,” Joyce confessed.

“When they’re ready they’ll do it on their own Joyce. You shouldn’t make a decision like that for them. You could offer it though. I’m halfway through your buzz cut. You should take a look to see if the fringe is about what you wanted. It’s a little more than the picture at the moment,” Kate told her.

“I do look good don’t I? I think you should make the fringe even less than in the picture – just a few wisps. What do you think Kate,” Joyce suggested.

“That exactly what I thought as well. I’ll do it that way and then do a bit more tapering on the sides and back. I have to do some finishing work to get it all to blend exactly right. After you’ve gotten adjusted to enjoying a good buzz cut, you’ll need to come back for the shorter version that is ideal for you and that you’ll be itching for,” Kate told her as she continued to use her comb and scissors to produce the exacting taper on the sides and back that were her trademark.

“Kate, how am I going to resist the thoughts you and this chair are putting into my head. I’ve got to hold out for a while, at least until Vicki qualifies for the big meet next summer. And your idea of offering them the possibility of being permanently bald is a really good one. I’ll do it that way.”

“I’m sure you can hold out, but I just want you to be eagerly awaiting the big event. I’m going to give you a little taste of what the girls experienced. I need to clean up your hairline a bit,” Kate told her as she spread some gel along her nape and down her neck. A few careful strokes produced a neatly edged hairline that blended perfectly with the fade that she had given the nape. Below the nape Joyce’s neck was now smooth. A little mousse on the fringe and it was finished.

Kate brushed off Joyce’s neck and around her face to get rid of any loose bits of hair. “This is a very attractive buzz cut Joyce. It flatters you,” Kate said as she turned the chair so that Joyce faced the mirror.

“Oh my! I look very good don’t I? I think I’m already taken by this style,” Joyce said smiling broadly, examining herself from every angle and feeling her buzzed head. And I can see that an even shorter version would look quite good,” Joyce conceded.

“Mom, you look great, and you’ll look even better with it shaved smooth. I’m going to work extra hard to make sure you get there as soon as possible,” Vicki told her.

“I love it Mom. You look just as good as all those other Moms with their buzz cuts,” Arlene added.

“It’s wonderful Kate. I can’t wait to get us home to show off out beautiful heads to George. He’s going to be surprised, but I’m sure he’ll get used to it and like it. How much do I owe you for our haircuts, and the shaver and supplies Kate?” Joyce asked.

“Well, let’s see. You’ll need a large supply of the moisturizer along with a good supply of shaving gel. So that plus the shaver and three haircuts. OK, here’s the bill,” Kate told her.

“That’s very reasonable Kate. I’ll pay with my credit card. And thank you so much. You did a beautiful job on the girls and I’m already loving this buzz cut. I’ll see you in three weeks to get it redone. Let’s go girls. I’m eager to show off to your Father,” Joyce told them as she ushered them out the door.

Saturday Morning at Kate’s Shop

It was not yet nine O’clock and Kate was leisurely getting her shop ready to open. She expected several of her regular customers to show up including Elaine and April, but they were irregular about the time. There were plenty of others who might appear. She couldn’t predict which ones would actually show up, but it was likely to be a busy day as it almost always was on Saturday. It had been an interesting week. Joyce and her two girls had been the highlight, but several others had been special.

One of her oldest customers, Doreen, who was seventy-four with white hair, had come in on Friday morning. She had always worn her hair fairly short and brushed back, but this time she wanted it cut a lot shorter. After a lengthy discussion and examination of various possibilities, Kate finally hit the right note. Doreen had seen a younger women with a brush cut and had been instantly attracted to it, but could not bring herself to describe it. When Kate showed her something like it she immediately said that was what she wanted. Further discussion established that she wanted the sides and back buzzed, and the top to stand up. Kate knew that her hair had plenty of body and that it would stand up with a little help. The end result was an arresting white brush cut no more than an inch long with the sides and back clippered to a quarter inch and tapered to blend with the top. The top was flattened in the middle and rounded on the sides to keep it from being too severe. Doreen was delighted at the result.

While Kate was musing about her several unusual hair cutting experiences she heard the door rattle as someone tried to open the locked door. She walked quickly to unlock it and reverse the closed sign to open. It was a little before nine.

“Well, hello Erica. I didn’t expect to see you today. And you have Cathy and Sean with you I see,” Kate greeted them.

“Yes, and we’re all here for haircuts Kate. You can start with Sean. I’ve been letting his hair grow and I think it’s long enough for a Buster Brown. What do you think?” Erica asked.

“The sides are long enough, but the top isn’t quite long enough to be a proper Buster Brown. It will look just fine though if I c
ut it quite short so that it is just to the bottom of his ears and has a wedged back. From there you can let it get longer if you want,” Kate told her. “It’s a good style for both boys and girls.”

“Sean doesn’t seem to mind having his hair longer if it doesn’t get in the way, and I want to see how he looks in a bob. I think he’ll look quite nice, so let’s go with your idea. Cathy, on the other hand, is a real tomboy and keeps after me to let her get her hair cut just like the boys she plays with. I’ve finally given up and said she can get it cut however she wants it,” Erica told her.

“I’ll give Sean wide bangs so nothing will get in his face Erica. OK, Sean. How about getting up here so I can get your hair cut for you,” Kate said.

Kate had already put the booster cushion in the chair to accommodate the smallish Sean, who easily negotiated the obstacles presented by the big chair. Neck paper and cape followed and Kate immediately combed out his hair, then pinned it up so that she could begin the section by section cutting that characterized a well executed bob haircut.

“Kate go ahead with Sean and Cathy while I look through your books. I want something different and much shorter, but I don’t have any idea what it should be yet, Erica told her.

Kate proceeded with cutting eight year old Sean’s bob. It would be easy and relatively quick. She had already outlined it and used her comb and clipper to produce the wedged back. His bangs followed quickly and Kate combed down the pinned up hair and prepared to finish the cut except for some final trimming. It was soon done.

“There you go Sean. A very nice style and you look quite good. Would you like to take a look Erica,” Kate asked her.

“That does look good Kate, but I think I’ll let it get a little longer – chin length maybe. Would that work for him,” Frances asked.

“Sure would. I have another customer with a boy Sean’s age – maybe a little younger. Timmy has a chin length bob that is just a little shorter in back with a little wedge. He wears earrings too, and is a very good soccer player. Of course two of his teammates have pony tails, so he’s certainly not out of place,” Kate related.

“One of Sean’s friends has a ponytail, and I know some of them have earrings too. Maybe I will get his ears pierced. Seems like a lot of football and basketball players have them. I guess Kate’s ready for you Cathy. I think I’m getting closer to a style for myself Kate. Give Cathy whatever she wants,” Frances reaffirmed her original statement.

“So, Cathy what kind of haircut am I going to give you,” Kate asked her as she fastened the cape snugly around her neck which already had a paper around it.

Cathy, who was eleven, knew exactly what she wanted. “The guys said that I would never get a flattop, but that’s what I want. One of them has a regular flattop and the other one has a high and tight flattop with a landing strip,” Cathy giggled. “I read all about them on a web site that had a couple of pictures of them on old guys. An I even found a picture of a girl with a flattop. So I’m going to get a flattop with a landing strip on top and the sides and back shaved,” Cathy said firmly.

“Are you absolutely very sure that’s what you want. It’s very short Cathy,” Kate questioned her.

“I’m sure. One of the guys is shaved so it’s all bristly and, at first, I thought I would do it that way, but I decided to do the flattop because I think that looks better. I don’t like the bristly feel either. Daryl has a flattop and it felt nice and smooth on the sides when he first got it.” Cathy responded.

“A flattop it is then. I’ll have to use my clipper,” Kate warned her.

“I know. I’ve had them used on me before,” Cathy said.

Kate put a drop of oil on the big clipper and snapped on the half inch guide. She knew that she would take the top down shorter than that, but a quick all over buzz to a half inch would make it easier to do the sides and back with the precision that Kate practiced. She made quick work of removing the bulk of Cathy’s hair. It was only three or four inches long with no hint of what the original cut had been.

“Well, that’s the easy part Cathy. Now I can do the sides and back. You’re sure you want it shaved smooth,” Kate asked once again.

“Yes. Make it smooth so you can’t feel anything,” Cathy said quite positively.

“You’ve got it Cathy,” Kate told her. She had removed the guide and now had just the bare bladed triple zero clipper. With no further ado she began running the clipper up the side of Cathy’s head allowing it to come away at the widest part of Cathy’s head. She intended to produce a classic high and tight flattop with the sides and back shaved smooth up to a line that encircled her head at exactly the same height, leaving a perfectly defined top. She did the right side and then the left. To the unpracticed eye the two sides were identical, but Kate was her own harshest critic and made several adjustments before she was satisfied. The back followed suit and soon Cathy head sported the clean look of a perfectly executed high and tight, but still lacked the geometric look of a flattop. That would soon be remedied.

Kate opened a jar of something labeled styling mud. After dampening Cathy’s hair with her spray bottle, she scooped out a small quantity of the thick creamy material and spread it between her hand before she applied it to Cathy’s hair.

“This is a special kind of mousse Cathy. I use it to get your hair to stand up nice and straight. That way I can give you a really good flattop,” Kate explained as she brushed her hair vigorously while blow drying it. In a a moment or two Cathy’s hair stood stiffly erect. Kate retrieved a special comb from her drawer. The teeth were twice as long as the comb was wide.

“I have to have your head in just the right position Cathy and you’ll have to hold it quite still for a little bit so I can get the flattop exactly right,” Kate warned her as she carefully maneuvered her head to the correct position.

Kate picked up her flat topper comb and stepped in front of Cathy so that she had a good view of her head from the front. Using the comb she pushed it back through Cathy’s hair so that the teeth touched the top of her head while it was held perfectly level. At the front only an eighth of an inch of hair protruded. Further back three eighths of an inch protruded. Using her battery operated clipper, Kate proceeded to remove all the protruding hair. At that point she pushed the comb further back into the hair near the crown and repeated the process leaving Cathy’s hair quite flat on top with the shortest part at the approximate middle of her head. That would soon change.

“OK Cathy, you can relax now. I’ve got the shape just right,” Kate told her. Because Cathy wanted a landing strip, Kate would go over the top free hand so that at the top there would be only a hint of hair in the middle, but first she would taper the sides with the flattop comb and then with her regular comb and her clipper. In the back she would reduce the hair to no more than an eighth of an inch following Cathy’s head until it met the top.

“Cathy, I have to go over it once more, so hold you head very still,” Kate warned her. Demonstrating a remarkably steady hand Kate ran the clipper down the middle of Cathy’s head in a precise line from the front to where it touched the top of Cathy’s head and continued back over the curve of the crown before leaving her head. Kate performed this dexterous feat two more time, once on each side of the original line.

Cathy now had an exactly measured flattop that needed only Kate’s finishing touch to give it the degree of perfection that she required of herself. That finishing, the tapering of the sides and back and the slight softening of the hard outline of the flattop, as seen in the side to side view of it, was soon done. Cathy now had a definite landing strip if viewed from above. The back of her head and part way around the sides wer
e clipped very closely, almost matching the landing strip. In fact it had come close to being a classic “horseshoe” flattop, because from the high point of her head back the landing strip continued to widen.

“Well Cathy, it’s about done, and you look quite sharp. I just need to clean up the sides and back to make them smooth they way you want it,” Kate told her.

“I think I’ve found the way I want my hair cut. I may be getting as adventurous as Cathy. That is really short Cathy. It’s a flattop isn’t it. It even shorter than that boy, what was his name, that you pointed out to me,” Erica said sounding a little flustered.

“Daryl. He has a flattop. I’m glad mine is shorter than his. That’s what I wanted,” Cathy replied.

Meanwhile, Kate was applying gel to the sides and back of Cathy’s head. She massaged it in and then picked up her razor and began to sharpen it on her strop.

“What are you doing now Kate,” Erica asked surprised.

“Cathy wanted a special kind of flattop in which the sides and back are shaved smooth. Its the last step. I should be finished in just a few minutes,” Kate told her.

“Oh. Well, if that’s what she wanted,” Erica’s voice trailed off.

Kate began shaving on the right side starting just a little below the point where the clipper shaved area began to taper to the length of the hair above. She applied light pressure, but still easily removed the gel and the tiny amount of hair that remained. Above the ear then around it and proceeding to the back where she shaved in two stages, Kate worked steadily and with a sure hand. The left side soon followed the right and except for wiping off some gel from a few places it was done. Kate used a slightly damp towel to wipe off the excess gel.

“Erica, I’m going to put on a little soothing moisturizer and then a little bronzer to add some color. It’s actually not a bad look for a girl, but I suggest that she wear some earrings. The contrast between the look of a flattop and nice dangly earrings will be striking and the earrings will tell everyone she’s a girl,” Kate said turning the chair around to the mirror. “There you go Cathy, one very sharp flattop on a real smart looking girl.”

“I hadn’t thought of that Kate. Good idea. I think it’s time we got your ears pierced Cathy. Would you like that?” Erica asked.

“I would really like to have earrings Mom. I like this haircut a lot. Can I keep it like this Mom,” Cathy answered.

“You really want to keep it cut like that? I suppose I can’t argue against it. How often would she have to come back Kate?” Erica asked.

“It really depends on how close to looking like it does now she wants to keep it. Every two weeks is the standard answer, but every three weeks isn’t too bad,” Kate replied.

“Well I’m getting a short cut too and that will probably need frequent cuts, so I’ll bring her with me as long as she wants it short like that. Let me feel it Cathy,” she asked.

Cathy was still grinning at herself in the mirror and feeling the smoothness of the sides and back. “It’s really smooth Mom. It’s better than Daryl’s. Its really cool.”

“Oh my, that is so smooth. How did you do that Kate?” Erica asked.

“It’s just a standard wet shave Erica. It won’t last long. It starts to feel bristly in two days, although it still looks good for three or four days on hair that is not too dark like Cathy’s.

“Mom, I want it to stay smooth like this all the time,” Cathy said. “It looks great and feels so neat.”

Erica was already in Kate’s chair with the the scrapbook in hand to show Kate what she had in mind for herself. “Could she do that somehow Kate?”

“Well, yes, but it would mean that you’d probably have to shave it for her every day or at least every other day. On the other hand if she really wants to keep her flattop, you can use a special moisturizer that makes hair grow slower as you use it. After a few months she would need to have it shaved only every week,” Kate told her.

“Wow, could we do that Mom. That would be so cool,” Cathy responded enthusiastically.

“Goodness, I can’t use a razor like Kate’s. How could we do it,” Erica asked perplexed.

“Good grief. I didn’t bother to tell you about the little battery operated shaver that all the bald girls and women use. You use it with the same gel that I used on Cathy. There’s no danger of cutting her and it shaves quite close. So you can do it at home easily,” Kate told her.

“Well, I think I could manage that Kate. It sounds pretty easy,” Erica responded.

“Mom, please, let’s do that. I really want to keep it cut just like this,” Cathy pleaded.

“Do you have the shaver Kate? I don’t want to have to run around looking for it,” Erica said.

“I’ve got everything right here except for the styling mud, but you can get something like it anywhere, Kate told her.

“OK, Cathy, we’ll give it a try. It’s shouldn’t be much of a problem. It’s going to feel a little strange keeping her hair cut like that,” Erica said.

“No more strange than boys wearing bobs or having ponytails,” Kate replied.

“I guess you’re right Kate. It just seems a little more strange for girls to have a flattop than for boys to have a ponytail. I’ll get used to it after a while I suppose,” Erica said.

“The guys started it, and now the girls and women are catching up and realizing that they can have the same kind of practical and flattering short cuts that the guys have enjoyed for years. At least that’s my attitude. Now that I have this buzz cut, you’ll never see me going back to some style that takes me an hour in the morning before I can even have breakfast,” Kate made her passionate hair freedom speech. “Let’s see what you have in mind for yourself Erica.”

“I’m going for a freedom from bad hair days style, just like you,” Erica said laughing. Kate joined her. They were still laughing when the bell rang, announcing the arrival of Helen and Deedee.

“Hello, come on in. I know you don’t I?” Kate said. “You were at the meeting last Sunday.”

“I”m Helen and this is… ” “Deedee” Kate interrupted her. I gave you one of my cards. Welcome to the end of bad hair days barbershop,” Kate said laughing.

“Sounds like a winner Kate. That’s what we’re looking for. Well maybe for Deedee a bad hair day will be any day that she has any hair at all,” Helen laughed.

Deedee had recognized Cathy. “Hey Cathy, that’s a really cool haircut.”

“Hi, Deedee. I really like it. Mom’s going to shave it for me so it stays smooth,” Cathy told her.

“Hey, Mom this is Cathy. She’s in sixth. I like her flattop. It’ll be neat to have another girl with a super short haircut at school,” Deedee said.

“That’s a great haircut Cathy,” Helen said. She turned back to Kate and the woman sitting in the barber chair whom she assumed was Cathy’s Mom. “Hi, I’m Helen Dorsey, Deedee’s Mother. You must be Cathy’s Mother.”

“I am. I’m Erica Green, I like Deedee’s buzz cut. Cathy’s cut was what she wanted. And I decided to get something a lot shorter than I’ve ever had before. Cathy mentioned Deedee once or twice, but I guess we’ve never met before have we.”

Probably not, but maybe we’ll get better acquainted in the future. I’m getting a very short buzz cut this time myself and Deedee is getting a clipper shave at least – maybe a real shave,” Helen told her.

“Oh my. That is going to extremes,” Erica said.

“Well, we got inspired when we attended the meeting of this unique club last Sunday. It’s called the Bald Girls Mothers’ Club. You may have heard or read a little about the Stonewall High swimming team and how they’re all bald as a knee cap. There’s also a bunch of other girls who are bald, along with some women who keep their heads shaved. Almost all the other women have short buzz cuts like Kate’s. She can tell you all about it. She was at the meeting. She sponsors one of the swimmers,” Helen said.

“That I do. Gail is going to be a champion swimmer very soon. Sh
e keeps her head shaved smooth as silk except when she let’s it grow for a day or too so she can come in and have me shave it for her,” Kate laughed.

“How many were there at the meeting,” Erica asked, her curiosity obviously tweaked.

“A lot. Thirty five or forty wouldn’t you say Kate?” Helen replied.

“Jan said that it was thirty eight,” Kate answered. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see fifty at the next meeting. “You and Cathy would fit right in Erica.”

Kate had been busily working on Erica’s new style. It was going to be a little boy cut and quite short. Kate had already cut the sides and back with her clipper and was working on the top using the clipper and comb method. She would leave the top just long enough to lie close. The front would be a little longer. There was no part. It would all be combed forward except at the crown which would be in a circle around the center point, so that it would also lie close to her head. The sides were clippered short around the ears and for an inch above, as was the back. Kate was surprised that the usually conservative Erica had chosen such a short, almost radical, style for her dark honey blond hair. It may have been the influence of Cathy, whose determination to get a very short cut usually thought of as a boy’s cut had finally gotten through. For whatever reason, Erica had convinced herself to take a rather dramatic step, one that Kate hoped she would be happy with. Persuading her to attend the January meeting of the BGMC would be a big step forward, but that was months away and Erica could have another complete change of mind by then.

Kate had combed her hair into place and was now lifting it up with her comb section by section and making tiny snips wherever she found a place where the cut was not as even as she expected it to be. Her requirement was that it had to be quite exact both from side to side and front to back. “Erica this is looking quite good. You made a very astute choice for yourself. It suits your features well and will certainly be easy to care for.”

“It is a very good looking style Erica. It’s cute and sophisticated at the same time. If I weren’t going to get mine buzzed off I think I would like a cut like that,” Helen told her.

Cathy interrupted her conversation with Deedee long enough to look at her Mom and give her some encouragement. “Hey Mom, that is a really super cool looking cut. I didn’t think you would be getting anything like that. Isn’t it really cool, Deedee?”

“It’s really interesting. I like the way it has that little dot right in the middle of the back. That makes it neat looking,” Deedee said.

“You’re all making me very eager to see it. How much longer Kate?” Erica asked.

“About another five minutes. I just have to do this final finishing and them do the front with a little mousse,” Kate assured her.

“OK, Erica. It’s done and you look smashing. Now you can see it,” Kate said as she turned the chair to face the mirror.

As often happened with a dramatic change of hairstyle, Erica was a little shocked at seeing herself looking so different, but it was a momentary effect as she took in the new look and realized that it was indeed a striking and flattering look. “It’s really different isn’t it. I do like the way I look. The way you got it to flip up in front is cute. I guess it is a lot like a little boy’s haircut isn’t it. And it is sophisticated at the same time. Wow, it’s really short isn’t it.”

Erica explored her head, feeling the very short hair at the back of her head and testing the length at the crown by picking it up between her thumb and forefinger. The more she looked and explored the broader her grin became.

“I don’t know what came over me to choose a haircut like this, but whatever it was I’m glad I did it I really like it. Kevin is going to be quite surprised, but he’ll like it I’m sure. I think I’ll want to keep it exactly like this for a good long while. What am I saying? Kate how often will I need to get it trimmed to keep it looking just like this,” Erica asked.

“Why every two weeks of course. It will be much too long at that point, but it will still look OK. And you will be itching to get it cut. When you do get it cut you’ll have a hard time keeping you hands off it, just like now,” Kate laughed as she watched Erica take her hand away from her head and then return it immediately to renew her exploration of her new haircut.

“I know just how it is Erica,” Helen said trying to keep from laughing out loud. “When I got this short cut I couldn’t keep my hands off it. After Kate finishes with me I know I won’t be able to keep my hands away from it for three or four days.”

“Mom you look super good. Can we stay at least until Deedee gets her haircut. She’s getting it all shaved. I really want to see it,” Cathy pleaded.

“What.” Erica was so engrossed that she barely heard what Cathy had said. Finally it brought her to awareness. “Is she really going to have it all shaved,” she directed her question to Helen.

“Yep, that’s right. She liked the look of all those bald girls last week and I thought they looked absolutely angelic. So I told Deedee that she would be getting a clipper shave when we came in this week. She agreed and said if she liked it she would get it shaved smooth if I would help her keep it smooth like the Moms of the other girls did. How could I turn down an offer like that? So here she is all ready to lose her hair as soon as you relinquish that wonderful barber chair,” Helen kidded Erica.

“Whoops, I didn’t mean to monopolize it. Here, it’s all yours Deedee.

“Thanks, Mrs. Jordan. I’ve been waiting almost a week to get mine cut again. I really liked the way all the kids at the club meeting looked. Now that I know that I won’t be the only girl with a really short haircut I’m not scared any more and I want to get it done for sure,” Deedee said as she settled into the big chair.

Kate quickly wrapped a paper around her neck and fastened the cape around it. “If I understand you correctly you want a good clean clipper shave and if you’re happy with that you’ll get it smooth shaved. I think I can handle that very well. So I’ll just get right to it Deedee,” Kate told her as she pickup her big clipper, brushed off a bit of hair and turned it on. Deedee jumped slightly at the sound. “I’m always forgetting to tell first timers that this clipper is so noisy. It’s noisy but it feels good on your head Deedee.”

Deedee’s hair had been cut in a conservative buzz three weeks earlier. It was now nearly an inch long. Kate was making short work of reducing it to a barely there state.

Kate went over it several times at different angles to be certain that it was as even as possible over her whole head. Deedee’s head was well shaped and the slight irregularities that Kate found were too minor to be noticed except by feeling carefully with her fingers. At the right side of the crown there was an area that was somewhat flattened instead of rounded, but it was not obvious visually. Kate continued her careful clipper shave of Deedee’s head finally concluding that it was done.

“Deedee! you look super good. You should get it shaved smooth like mine except all over,” Cathy cried.

“It really does look good,” Helen chimed in. “It looks so good I’m tempted to get mine shaved too. You’ve never looked so good.”

“That would be cool Mom, and you would look good too,” Deedee said as she examined the apparently bald girl in the mirror. She laughed as she felt it and turned her head from left to right to see as much of her head as possible.

“This is so neat. I love it. I have a nice head don’t I?” Deedee said.

“I think the decision is made Kate. Please shave her perfectly smooth,” Helen ordered.

“Well here we go then. Are you ready Deedee?” Kate asked.

“OK, I’m ready,” Deedee answered.

Kate soaked a
towel in hot water then squeezed out the excess, allowing the towel to cool down somewhat before she applied it to Deedee’s head. “This hot towel will soften the hair and you’ll get a super good shave.” Kate had the gel shaving lubricant warming up in a second hot towel. Not she removed it noting that it was warm.

“Time for the shaving gel Deedee,” Kate told her as she removed the hot towel and began apply the gel. She carefully massaged it making sure every spot was well covered.

“That feels good Kate. Can you do that Mom?” Deedee asked.

“Of course she can,” Kate responded before Helen could say anything. “A head massage before and after a shave produces such a strong change in our attitudes that keeping our heads shaved is no longer optional. It becomes so ingrained in us that having hair on our heads becomes unthinkable. So you will need to shave her daily for a month or so and give her a nice massage with the gel and then with the special moisturizer. After about a month she will be completely readjusted to having a bald head. A daily massage for the next few months will intensify the habituation that has been developed. After that an occasional massage to reinforce the message and she will be a life long baldy,” Kate explained in mock seriousness.

“Well Deedee, how does that sound. If you let your Mom shave you and give you head massages, you might become a permanent baldy before you realize it,” Erica told her.

“I think I’ll have to take a chance on it. I think Melissa already is a baldy for life. I”d probably like it,” Deedee said. “I like getting shaved like this.”

“I’m going to see if I can find a book on how to give a good head massage. I may have to devote myself to converting Deedee and any one else I can into life long baldies,” Helen offered laughing. “Maybe we women can get together and have weekly shaving and head massage parties to do our own readjustments.”

Meanwhile Kate was hard at work shaving Deedee. She had nearly finished. The crown area needed more work and there were a few rough spots to clean up. She did them and checked to see if there were any others, but found none.

“Deedee, you’re done except for the moisturizer and bronzer,” Kate said as she used a damp towel to clean off the remaining gel. “The moisturizer will feel cold the first few times you us it, but eventually it doesn’t seem so bad.”

Kate applied a generous amount of the moisturizer to Deedee’s head. Deedee shuddered at the immediate shock, but recovered quickly as Kate began the languorous massage that she had perfected over the summer and fall. Kate took her time giving Deedee the full treatment. Deedee had closed her eyes and was luxuriating in the feeling. The bell over the door jangled announcing the arrival. Kate spared a moment to greet them, a teenaged girl with short spiky hair and her apparent boyfriend with collar length hair.

“Hi, guys. It will be a little while. I’m about finished here, but I have another customer waiting,” she advised them.

“We’ll wait,” the girl responded.

The moisturizer had almost been absorbed as Kate did the final bit of massaging. “Helen, I’m going to put on a little bronzer to give her some color. It takes a couple of weeks for the natural color to develop. Do you know about this special moisturizer?”

“One of the bald women mentioned it. Iris I think. It slows down the hair growth so you don’t have to shave so often. She said that some of the girls shaved only once a week. I definitely want to use that,” Helen said.

“That’s right. And a little bit of bronzer makes it look better. Paula found a new face shiner makeup that works very well, but I don’t know where she got it. There, Deedee, you’re all done and you look absolutely terrific,” Kate told her.

Deedee looked at herself in the mirror and giggled. Everyone waited to hear what she would say, but she remained quiet as she continued to look at herself and explore her head.

“Can I borrow your mirror Kate?” she asked. Kate quickly offered her the large hand mirror that she used to give her customers a view of the back of their heads. Deedee accepted it and turned to examine herself from all sides. Finally she handed the mirror back to Kate and walked over to Helen. Helen was not quite sure what to expect, but Deedee held out her arms and Helen quickly embraced her, felt her head and then patted it before giving her a kiss on top as Deedee rested her head on Helen’s chest.

“Thanks, Mom. That feels really nice. It looks so wonderful I want to keep it like this. I don’t think I’ll every have hair on my head again. I wish I was like Carly,” Deedee added.

“Well maybe someday you can be if you still want it. If you’re still happy with it next year, maybe we can talk about it again,” Helen said. She had heard some of the talk about Steffie becoming permanently bald and the idea had impressed her.

“I think it’s your turn Helen,” Kate reminded her.

“I’m on my way,” Helen said as she stepped up and sat in the chair. Kate quickly applied paper and then the cape.

“Kate why do you use that paper,” Helen asked.

“It’s actually rather traditional in a barber shop. I like to use these light colored cloth capes and they will begin to look dark around the collar after a while because of the oil they pick up from people’s skin. Using the paper makes keeping them clean looking easier and actually keeps hair from getting down your neck. Now just what kind of buzz cut were you thinking of?” Kate said.

“It should be a very short buzz. At least as short as Heather’s. I think she said hers was a number two buzz, but I may want mine ever shorter now that Deedee had gone all the way. She looks so sweet and innocent, and I really liked the way Paula and Abby looked, so simple and elegant. That was a real eye opener,” Helen gave herself a little persuasive speech.

Helen was originally from Trinidad in the Caribbean as could be guessed from the lilt in her speech. She was well educated and a registered nurse practitioner, but only worked part time because she wanted to spend more time with Deedee. She was proud of her mixed heritage and would tell people that she was a world citizen because she had a little bit of just about everybody in her background including African, French, Spanish, Indian and Amerindian. Her warm brown skin, straight nose and wavy brown hair made her just about impossible to categorize. She had always worn her hair short as a practical matter and because she preferred it that way. In Trinidad, some of the black women wore their hair clipped very close – essentially shaved – and she had admired the way they looked. She even adopted that style for a while, but let her hair grow after she met Paul and later emigrated to the US. The US cultural bias for long straight blond hair had made her feel somewhat out of step with her short hair. Her attendance at the BGMC meeting had renewed her confidence in how she wanted to look and had assured her that for Deedee to have short hair or indeed no hair at all was quite acceptable. Now she looked forward to her own transformation.

“I’ll start with a number two and we’ll go from there. Here, you can watch the whole thing,” Kate said as she uncharacteristically turned Helen to face the wall mirror.

Kate retrieved her battery operated clipper, adjusted the blades to their closest setting and snapped on a number two guide.

“Here we go Helen,” Kate said as she put the clipper at Helen’s forehead and ran it back to the crown, making a path of very short hair through her previous cut which was now more than an inch long. A second and third pass left the top roughly clippered and Kate began on the sides rapidly reducing them to the specified quarter inch. The back followed. Kate made a few more passes to even the cut out although quite a lot of work would be need to arrive at the level of precisio
n that marked all of Kate’s cuts.

“OK, Helen that a rough version of a number two buzz. What do you think?” Kate asked.

Helen looked at herself briefly and immediately demurred. “No Kate. I want it a lot shorter than than – half as long for sure,” Helen said determinedly.

“That would be only an eighth of an inch. Does that seem like what you want?” Kate asked for confirmation.

“That sounds about right. I liked the way Deedee looked with her clipper shave. I think I’m looking for something about like that,” Helen responded.

“Well that was a lot shorter even than an eighth of an inch. Let’s try that first,” Kate replied.

Kate removed the guide and set her clipper to its eight of an inch setting. Without any hesitation she again started at Helen’s forehead and ran the clipper back to the crown. She worked a little more slowly now because any irregularities were quite obvious with a cut this short. After doing the sides and back she returned to the top and went over it a few more time from side to side to eliminate any of the little ridges that were visible to her keen eye.

“I think we’re getting there, but I’ll let you decide Helen,” Kate told her.

Helen examined her head critically and felt it all over.

“I can get hold of it with my fingers. I think I shouldn’t be able to do that. Can you make it shorter on top and a lot shorter on the sides and back?” Helen asked.

“Of course I can. I think I know just what you need,” Kate told her.

Adjusting the clipper to it’s sixteenth of an inch setting Kate began clippering Helen’s head to a near clipper shaved state. She had no doubt at all that Helen had become a convert to the shaved look and she was quite happy to help her achieve the look she desired. Now she proceeded methodically, going over the top of Helen’s head in all directions to assure that it was cut precisely right. She had already reduced the sides and back to a sixteenth of an inch. She adjusted her clipper to its thirty-second of an inch setting and began to reduce the sides still further, producing a precise taper at the curve of Helen head. After more examination she decided that it still wasn’t quite right.

“Helen, maybe the top and sides should be the same. What do you think?” Kate said.

“Yes, that’s exactly the way I would like it to be Kate,” Helen told her after examining herself in the mirror.

Helen watched avidly as her hair was reduced to a shadow on top to match the sides. As she saw herself transformed her excitement grew. When it became obvious that Kate was nearly finished a smile slowly took over Helen’s face.

“How’s that Helen,” Kate asked.

“It’s perfect! Exactly what I wanted! I already love the way it looks! Like Deedee I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with much more hair than this. I’m afraid Paul is going to be a little shocked at how short it is, but he’ll get used to it pretty soon. I think he’ll actually like it.” Helen’s enthusiasm was infectious.

“You look terrific like that Helen,” Erica agreed. “You’ll have to come back every week to keep it looking sharp. What’s your telephone number. Maybe we can come back together. You definitely need to keep it clippered neatly like that.”

“Mom, that looks super. You could be a model,” Deedee told her.

“Not me Deedee. I’m quite satisfied being a good nurse. But I do like our new haircuts,” Helen replied.

“I’m not quite finished Helen. I need to edge around the hairline and give it a little fade,” Kate told her.

Two minutes later Kate had finished, brushed Helen carefully to remove any stray hairs and removed the cape.

“There you go Helen. A very good job if I do say so myself. And you will need to come back frequently to keep it looking good,” Kate told her.

“Don’t worry Kate I’ll be a regular customer. Give me your telephone number Erica. Here’s mine. We can remind each other that we need haircuts.” Helen said laughing.

“You both need shavers don’t you?” Kate asked.

“That’s right Kate. I have to take care of Deedee. I need a shaver, gel, moisturizer and shiner. You have all that don’t you Kate?” Helen asked.

“All but the shiner. Paula found it at Cassandra’s in the makeup department I think. I was going to get some but I keep forgetting.

“Well I’ll get some the next time I’m in that area. Right now I want to get us home to show Paul what you’ve done to us Kate,” Helen said.

Kate turned to the two teenagers. “I’ll be with you in just a couple of minutes,” she told them. She had noted that they had watched Deedee and Helen with intense concentration and took in every word of the conversations that had occurred during Helen’s haircut. She wondered what the effect on them would be. She gave each of the two women a bag containing the shaver, gel and moisturizer.

“Thanks for a wonderful experience Kate. I’ll be keeping in touch Helen. If I don’t call you, you should call me. Let’s go Cathy. I want to show off my new haircut. Bye, Kate. Talk to you soon Helen,” Erica said as she headed toward the door.

“Bye Erica. Thanks Kate. You did a great job for both of us. Let’s go surprise your Dad Deedee,” Helen said as they left the shop.

Kate turned to the two teenagers. “Who’s next?” she asked smiling at them warmly.

To be Continued in Part 29

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