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Adding a Little Color to the Story

color salonSo, let me tell you how I came to write my blog today from the color table of my hair salon.

The story starts many, many years ago. My father was an only child, but came from a very large extended family, as his mother was one of nine children and his father was one of eleven. I’m fairly certain that both sets of great grandparents used the rhythm method as their preferred mode of birth control…but, I digress.

They were extremely impressive men and women who hailed from Italy. Somehow, these large families without much money produced exceedingly educated and successful human beings who contributed a great deal to this wonderful Country of ours.

Today, I will talk about one of them in particular. Aunt Elsie, my great aunt, was a Newark school principal – a very esteemed position for a woman of her era. She also married the first Italian Senator from Newark. To me, she was always larger than life.

So to the point of my story…

We were at a restaurant for a family party. At the time, I was probably about 9 years old. As we stood on line at the coat check, she was holding my hand, and I was looking up at her face. Granted, she may have been on her 3rd face lift (probably a slight exaggeration to help demonstrate my point), but to that little girl beside her, her face seemed flawless.

I told her, at that moment, that I thought she was “beautiful for an older woman” (out of the mouths of babes). She let out a little chuckle and proceeded to impart her words of wisdom. She expressed how important it is to always take good care of yourself. And, then came the line that I will never forget and that always gives me pause to smile when I am getting my hair colored, “Honey, don’t ever let them see you go gray.” Haha this one’s for you Aunt Elsie.