Tag Archives: haircuts

THE HAIRCUT ~ guest blogger, Jan Cooper Magee







Hi Mary,

Do you remember me,  Jan Cooper, (you always called me Julianne). As I look back on my childhood, I realize that growing up on Marblecrest Terrace in Fort Scott was a great place to be a child. Many memories come flooding back as I write this note to you.

I remember my childhood days when Marylin and I were together every minute.  Going “up town” was an event that was at the top our list for fun things to do.  I recall one afternoon with much clarity!  I was at your house playing and you announced that you’d be going to town soon.  Of course, Marylin and I wanted to go.  I was a little puzzled when you looked at me and said that you didn’t think you could take ME with you.  I’m sure I asked: “Why not?”  To my disappointment you told me that you just couldn’t’ take me with you because my hair just didn’t look very nice.  But, thank goodness, you had a solution to that problem.  You would simply give me a haircut before we left and then I would look just fine for our afternoon adventure to town.

Getting my hair cut was not one of my favorite things to do and I’m sure I’d been fussing about it for some time.  I didn’t (and still don’t) have a headful of beautiful, thick hair and I never really knew how my haircut would turn out.   I agreed, reluctantly, I’m sure, and said you could cut my hair.   Mary, you were very talented at many things, but as I remember cutting hair was not one of your more accomplished talents.  After a snip here and a snip there you made a little girl happy and I had a new summer hairdo.  You know, I don’t even remember if we ever got to town!  Sometime later as I was reminiscing about that afternoon I found out that you and my mother (Julia Cooper) had planned that haircut! I’m sure it wasn’t the worst haircut I ever received but I’m also quite sure it was much better that going to the local barber, Johnny Dobbins, who usually gave me my “beginning of the summer trim”.

I wish I could give you a big hug right now but I now live in Arkansas.  I have two children and six grandchildren. Thanks for being a part of my childhood.    Love you, “Julianne”


As a reminder, Mom, Jan’s dad was Dr.C. M. Cooper, our family dentist.  He also pierced my ears–with your permission–when I just “had” to have pierced ears and you didn’t want me using a needle and a potato. And just for the record: I thought you gave Jan a really good…well, it was an okay haircut. Better than my haircut at the time, which kind of looked like you put a bowl on my head and trimmed around it.


Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, experiments, friends, memories for grandchildren, memories for great-grandchildren, neighbors


Dear Mom,

How do you measure the success of a Thanksgiving dinner?  Is it a perfect turkey with gourmet side dishes, Martha Stewart-type table linens and accessories?  Or can it be a day-after-Thanksgiving picnic on the floor of your apartment at Presbyterian Village?

This year we had a nontraditional celebration.  Jim and I came from Colorado; Molly and Trevor came with the kids from central Kansas, and David and Sharon came from their house nearby.  While others shopped for Black Friday bargains, the ten of us shared a special picnic on the living room floor of your apartment.  You napped off and on in your recliner, waking to take bites of carrot cake with thick icing, then licking your lips, smiling, and going back to sleep.

After Grace and Gannon sang the dinner prayer, food was served from every counter space and side table around the room, and our dog Maggie sniffed around, hopeful for crumbs and spills.  Everyone talked at once, laughed together, sampled food off each other’s plates, and stepped over out-stretched legs to go back for seconds.

In the midst of the happy chaos, you were surrounded by your daughter and son and their spouses, your granddaughter and her husband, and your two great-grandchildren.  All of us merrily crowded together, and none of us would have been there if it hadn’t been for you and Dad.  Your legacy surrounded you, Mom.

Each year Grace and Gannon begin decorating the Christmas tree as soon as the Thanksgiving dinner ends.  We can measure their ages in the pictures by how high up the ornaments and tinsel hang on the tree branches.  Their creativity is measured by their reach.

All around your apartment are framed pictures of family, from the time David and I were babies, then toddlers, then throughout the years as we grew up.  During the early years, when you and Dad were working hard to build the family business, two measures of your resourcefulness are the outfits you made for us and the way you cut our hair.  Money was tight but you were creative, and the pictures measured your efforts.

On this year’s day-after-Thanksgiving celebration, as I sat on the living room floor and watched my brother munch cookies, I had to smile at one picture in particular on the bookshelf above him.  David is maybe five in the picture and his hair is curly and trimmed neatly.  I’m three and sitting next to him.  We wear little matching jackets you made, and my hair, straight and fine, is cut in what you called the “Dutch-boy” style, as if you put a bowl on my head and trimmed around the edges.

What is the measure of a great Thanksgiving dinner, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, a successful life…or a good mother?

It doesn’t matter how “experts” measure dinners, trees or anything else, Mom.  Your life speaks for itself, and all of us sitting cross-legged on the floor around you have experienced first hand the wonderful mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandmother you are.

We’re thankful for you, Mom, and we all love you.


Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, memories for grandchildren