The year was around 1973-4 and first I drove from San Francisco to New York with stop offs in Michigan and Montreal along the way. After spending a week in NYC I continued my drive down to Florida to stay with my parents, work to save some money, and lastly sell my car as I knew I wouldn't be needing it in Manhattan. Now I was ready to take a flight to the "big bad city" to find my fame and fortune.
Not really knowing anyone in the "big bad city" I decided to stay at a YMCA on West 23 street until I could find a job. Wanting to work as a hairstylist I found my way to the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57 Street to take a look around. Located a beauty salon called "CINANDRE" and walked in cold saying I was a hairdresser. They were very pleasant to me (little did I know Cinandre was THE hottest salon of the moment) and asked me to return another day with a model to show them my skills. As I walked out the door thinking to myself "a model! I don't really know a soul in this town much less a model."
As I lifted my head I caught site of Bergdorf Goodman, the chicest department store on the Avenue, and figured they must have a beauty salon so let's try there. I was in luck. They didn't need anyone for the main salon but just happened to be staffing a new smaller salon on the 7th floor to be called "B.G. Cutaway" and wanted to know if I'd be interested in being trained in the "Glemby" method of haircutting and blow drying. They just happened to have this training class starting up the following week and if I passed that, they would put me to work. Of course I jumped at the chance.
I think the classes were a couple of weeks long or maybe a month, but I would be paid to take the classes that were to be held in a sister department store in Brooklyn. Sure OK great! They told me which subway to take and off I went. It was all very exciting to me, except the train rides to and from Brooklyn were like nothing I had ever experienced before. So depressing.....just one long line of panhandlers shuffling through the subway cars, one more pathetic then the other, asking for change. My heart went out to them but was in no position to help them ALL. Finally I arrived at my stop in Brooklyn where the store (was it called A & S, can't remember) was near by.
There must have been about a dozen or so of us young hopefuls, mostly fresh out of beauty school, ready to get started with the training. I found the classes pretty easy and the hair cutting technique much the same as I had learned on my own. And everyone seemed bright and friendly. Plus we could receive a substantial discount on merchandise from the store. I had my eye on a three piece navy blue wool suit designed by Pierre Cardin, that I figured would come in handy for my new life in New York.
I finished the training, got the new suit, and was ready to start working!