I don’t know how the beauty school bubble got inflated in the 50’s and 60’s but it was big. In Lawrence there was Fazio’s Beauty School. My mother is a past graduate of Fazio’s beauty school. This fact is really more amazing than any of you realize. My mother had serious difficulty in certain areas - reading, learning and school for example. She always claimed that my father never graduated from high school but she did. Whenever she made this claim I demanded to see her diploma. She would run off to her bedroom and start foraging in an attempt to add fire to this obvious exaggeration. She was never able to produce that high school diploma but threatened that one day it would turn up and then she would have the last laugh. It took my mother 11 years to pass her driver’s license test. My older sister gave mom driving lessons for several years, then I took over and my older brother actually gave it a try for a year or two. It had become a sort of family tradition. I anticipated that my oldest son would take up the burden when he came along. My sister’s reaction to the experience was one of frustration. I became seriously frightened. I had nightmares that by some fluke of fate, my mother would actually have a good day and the guy at the driver’s license bureau would pass her. It didn’t happen while she was under my tutelage. My brother was a saint. He had the best reaction of any of us. After every driving lesson he gave my mother, he would walk in the kitchen door, take one look and me or my sister and burst out laughing. My sister and I would both nod our heads knowingly. But my mother did have her areas – knitting, sewing and doing hair. She was the daughter in her large family who did everyone’s hair. I had the same attitude to Fazio’s Beauty School as my mother did to the first Kentucky Fried Chicken joint that opened up in our neighborhood. As I remember it was on Broadway on the next corner just past the Star Theater heading towards Essex St (Daisy St.) My mother said, “Why in the world would anybody buy something as simple to cook as fried chicken from a store? That joint will be out of business in a week.” And as you all know, she was right again. It moved to a bigger location leaving that corner to become a Syrian sandwich shop, specializing in homemade kibbi salad sandwiches which, of course, were served on fresh Syrian bread and topped with a fantastic secret Syrian dressing. When all the girls, including my mother in her mid-life crisis, started signing up at Fazio’s beauty school, I said, “Why would anybody go to beauty school when everybody has a sister who will do it for nothing.” And, of course, I was right as usual. I also predicted the early demise of McDonald’s and gave the Carol Burnett show no more than a month on the air. Frankie Avalon actually recorded a song admonishing young girls for dropping out of high school and going to beauty school. I bet he thought he was pretty cleaver too. [Press control and click on link below to see and hear Frankie give warning to a “Beauty School Drop Out” in this classic Grease presentation. The lyrics are below if you would like to memorize them and sing along. Man this is just like going to the RATS (STAR Theater)]
Your story's sad to tell, a teenage ne'er-do-well Most mixed up non-delinquent on the block Your future's so unclear now, What's left of your career now Can't even get a trade-in on your smile Beauty school drop-out, no graduation day for you Beauty school drop-out, missed your midterms And flunked shampoo Well at least you could have Taken time to wash and clean your clothes up After spending all that dough to have the doctor Fix your nose up Baby get moving (better get moving), Why keep your feeble hopes alive What are you proving (what are you proving)? You've got the dream, but not the drive If you go for your diploma, you could join a steno pool Turn in your teasin' comb and go back to highschool Beauty school drop-out, hangin' around the corner store Beauty school drop-out, it's about time you knew the score Well they couldn't teach you anything, You think you're such a looker But no customer would go to you, Unless she was a hooker Baby don't sweat it (don't sweat it), You're not cut out to hold the job Better forget it (forget it), who wants their hair done by a slob Now your bangs are curled, your lashes twirled, And still the world is cruel Wipe off that angel face and go back to highschool Baby don't blow it, don't put my good advice to shame Baby you know it, even Dear Abby's say the same Now I've called the shot, get off the pot, I really gotta fly Gotta be goin' to that maltshop in the sky Beauty school drop-out, go back to highschool Beauty school drop-out, go back to highschool Beauty school drop-out, go back to highschool
One of my good buddies married a graduate of Fazio’s beauty school and to this very day they have a thriving beauty business. Today they have a school teaching all the various techniques of hair and skin care. Some of the old gang question our good buddy’s importance in this enterprise. I’ve been told that they actually got together and hired a detective agency to follow our pal around in an attempt to find out what he actually does to contribute to this company’s viability. After several months of intense investigation, the agency reported that they had no idea what this fellow’s actual responsibilities are – and to this day nobody really knows what the heck he does. I suppose we could ask his wife but you all know how women are. Women and their men are like guys and directions. They just go on and on. But I have confidence that he is responsible for something even if no one yet has been able to determine exactly what it is. Einstein had the very same problem at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. To this day no one knows what Einstein actually accomplished at Princeton. I always felt that if he wasn’t such a radical and maybe if he studied a little harder he might have gotten into Harvard. As it was there were many Americans who wanted to have him deported because of his unpatriotic attitudes towards war and the draft … E = mc² or not. I have a niece who once worked at the Yellow Strawberry on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale Florida. She made more in tips in one day than I ever earned in a week. Of course, she had a lot of “funny” looking friends – but don’t we all. Now my mother, on the other hand, never got past doing her sisters’ hair. You might be saying, Well if she never got her driver’s license how could she get a job if she couldn’t even drive to work?” Well, she did get her driver’s license. I could not believe it when she came walking through the kitchen door waving that license in her hand. I asked her for the name of the man who had passed her at the driver’s license bureau. I went down to the office and spoke with him. “Did you have an applicant by the name of Mary Noble recently?” “I have had an applicant by the name of Mary Noble about once every month for the last eleven years,” he said defiantly. “Yes,” I said. “And on each of those occurrences over those eleven years you have been consistently wise enough to flunk her. She returned home last week with a certified driver’s license in her hand. Do you have an explanation?” “Not a good one,” he said. “Basically, I figured she was not going to quit trying and if I kept flunking her she would probably keep returning until she killed the both of us.” “So you just decided to let her loose on the general public?” “Better them than me,” he said lowering his head and returning to his paperwork. There is of course a very important lesson to be learned from this sad story. The lesson as I see it is, What the heck is wrong with your daughter or mother going to beauty school? Or, Why should anyone take advice from Frankie Avalon?
Richard Edward Noble is a freelance writer and columnist. His local column, the Eastpointer, won the first place 2007 humor award from the Florida Press Association. He has published several books. All of his books can be viewed and purchased on Amazon.com. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for bookstore discounts and volume sales.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.