2018, Mirror Image Edutainment, Alan John Mayer
Recently, I got an email from a friend. “I am sending you a book. It’s about a young girl”. Thank you, I thought. I have enough female energy in my life, but I will enjoy reading it. Thank you for the book, and the thought, I wrote. I trust your reading recommendations as I would my father’s, had he ever made any.
I remember how I enjoyed reading the award winning Young Adult novel, ‘Counting By Sevens’, about a girl who enters foster care under a single mother and her daughter, beauticians both, how she helps them create their own salon. The story is related through the eyes of a young Asian girl, and is centered around a beauty shop (female energy) I enjoyed reading Counting By Sevens, not only as research, but for amusement.
It is only now, much later, I realize why I may have been so open to a story centered around females in a beauty salon. It took me home to 1971, to one of my foster home experiences, when I was sent to live in Germany.
On the bus to Spain, I met a pretty girl named Angelika, and a cute guy named Michael, (pronounced Mee-sha-ael) a year younger than I. For two weeks, we played on the beach in Calella, on the Costa Brava, the Mediterranean. Together we toured Barcelona, and enjoyed the night life Franco’s Spain had to offer. T-Rex’s hit ‘Hot Love’ was playing everywhere. My new friends from Altenkirchen stayed. I parted, and we kept in touch. In November, Angelika showed up with her aunt and mother at my Aunt’s house outside Bonn, to drive me back home with them to spend the weekend with.
Both Aunts Ria and Elizabeth were sisters, widows who ran the family tobacco, Lotto and newspaper business, running for over a hundred years. To the side of the quaint little store with the Lotto stickers on the glass door, was a beauty salon with four stations. Here Ria practiced her trade, and Angelika trained.
Just like the young female protagonist in ‘Counting By Sevens’, at the owner’s bidding, I went to work cleaning and rearranging the salon. One of my many rewards was a free perm, to keep my hair short so old-fashioned foster parents in Essen could not say my hair was too long when they insisted I cut it. Just before Christmas, Elizabeth and Angelika met me in Berlin, where I was staying with my step grandmother, Tante Annie.
We are family.
There is one life.
This life is God.
This life is my life now,
I claim these truths for myself now.
And so it is.
God bless and protect our schools, our students, our teachers, our administrators and our American Democracy.