Today I went to see my hairdresser, Ginger. I have to go every three weeks because my hair grows at the speed of light. I love going to see Ginger. She has been my hairdresser and friend for about eight years. A couple of years ago, she opened her own salon. I love going to get my hair done, spending time with her, and sometimes just dropping by to hang out.
Today we started reminiscing and laughing about something that happened a couple of years ago. I jokingly mentioned that I should write a blog about it.
“Oh, that would be so cool. You should do it.” Ginger gave me her mischievous smile.
“Really? You know-that is a good idea. I think I will write it. It was so funny. I won’t mention your name or the shop.”
“Why? Go ahead and use my name. I don’t care. I tell everyone anyway. You will have to tell them how much you love your hairdresser. I was gone for 21 days and you needed your hair done, so you rescued me.”
“I didn’t rescue you just so you could do my hair.” We were both laughing at this point. Here is the story of the rescue.
I stopped by the shop one morning to see Ginger. I had tried calling the day and night before . When she didn’t answer or return my call I thought something was wrong. Her significant other (hereafter known as SO) was at the shop. He was obviously upset. He motioned for me to come to the back of the shop. He said he hadn’t had time to call me yet.
“Ginger is in jail. It is a big mess. I don’t know how I am going to handle the shop, and house, the kids.”
“What? Why is she in jail? Which jail is she in? Is she OK?” I was shooting off questions faster than he could answer.
He explained the situation. I am not going to share all of the details here, but there was a mix up with some money that should have gone to the county and was sent to North Carolina instead. Ginger had gone to court with paperwork and assumed she would be able to get things straightened out. WRONG. The Judge put her in jail until the money was paid. Now they had to get the money redirected from North Carolina and that was going to take some time.
I kept in touch with SO and sent love and support through messages from him. I told him I would do anything I could to help with the shop and kids,etc. The jail was in another county and visitation was limited. One day SO called me.
“Cathy, we just got the money from North Carolina. They screwed up again and it went into our bank account instead of to the court. If we can get the money to the court, they will release her. I don’t have any way to do it. I have to be at the shop and I don’t have a car.”
“What can I do to help?” I had an idea where this was going.
“Would you be able to take me to the bank and then drive out to the jail and get her?”
I checked my calendar, called my boss and explained that I needed to be gone for the rest of the day. I have gotten someone out of jail before and it may take 15 minutes to handle the paperwork but rarely takes less than 2 or 3 hours or more for the jail to release someone. I drove to the shop, went to the bank, and headed out to the other county with over $3000 in cash in my purse. Now that my friends, is trust.
I had to go to the courthouse first, pay the money, and get the paperwork. Fortunately, the courthouse is just across a courtyard from the jail. The clerk processed the payment and told me the paperwork would go across to the jail in just a few minutes. It was after lunchtime so they had already handled processing people from the morning. It was going to be a while. I got my book and IPod from the car and went to the covered shelter in the middle of the courtyard. It was a small shelter. On one side, there was a Coke machine, a big ashtray, and a wooden bench. There was also a bench on the other side. I sat on the bench across from the Coke machine so I would have a direct view of the door of the jail where the released the “residents” would exit.
I had been sitting for about half an hour when a well-dressed young women walked up the sidewalk carrying a large bag filled with boxes of meals from a local chicken fast food place. I wondered if there was going to be a picnic lunch and if I would be invited. She placed the bag and her small briefcase on the bench. She looked at her watch and then turned and smiled. She explained that her guest must be late.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw an older woman in an old-fashioned black polyester pants suit. She approached the young woman and apologized for running behind. She said Harry was coming but he had a bit of hard time walking. I saw the older woman look around and say, “Oh here he is.”
I looked and saw a much older gentleman walking up the sidewalk. He had a cane and walked slowly but deliberately. He had a big smile on his face and he looked EXACTLY like Colonel Sanders (Kentucky Fried Chicken Icon). He had on the same white suit with a black ribbon bow tie that the good Colonel himself always wore. It would have been even stranger if the fast food chicken the young woman was carrying was KFC.
Now my interest was really peaked. Were these the parents of the young woman? Was there going to be a family reunion? Was she just meeting them to exchange paperwork? It wouldn’t take long to find out exactly what was going on. You won’t believe this one. As Colonel Sanders approached, the younger woman motioned for him to come over.
“Hello, my name is Mary Smith. How are you today, Sir?” The young woman smiled at the older gentleman.
“What did she say?” he asked of the older woman. She repeated the younger woman’s question and suggested he move closer.
The young woman asked if they had the paperwork. The older woman pulled something from her purse and handed it to her.
“Great, everything looks in order. Do you have the rings?”
“Did she really say rings?” I thought.
The older woman pulled the rings from her purse and handed them to the young woman. The Colonel was hard of hearing and the young woman had to speak very loudly.
For the next ten minutes, I was witness to the Colonel and the older woman’s wedding. Yes, a wedding took place in the courtyard between the courthouse and the jail. The young woman pronounced them man and wife and I was grateful the ceremonial kiss was a brief peck. As they turned to leave, I felt I needed to say something.
“Congratulations.” I said. I was just a witness to their marriage so it seemed I should say something. The new bride left Colonel Sanders on the bench to wait while she got the car. Colonel introduced himself and told me enough to let me know that he was financially well off.
“Oh, here she comes. See that new Lexus SUV. I just bought that for her. Pretty, isn’t it?” Now I understood the attraction. He bid me farewell, walked the car, and off they went for a glorious honeymoon in the Bahamas.
About two hours later, I saw Ginger walk out the door of the jail. I started to hug her but she said I might want to wait because she hadn’t had a shower in two days. The overcrowded conditions in the jail only allowed for showers every other day.
I told Ginger about the courtyard wedding. She laughed as I described the event. I could see the relief on Ginger’s face. As we road home, she described the conditions in the jail. Her heart was heavy as she told me the stories of some of the women she met. Ginger has a big heart. She would have brought many of the women home if she could.
Every now and then, something will remind us of that day. We will laugh about Colonel Sander’s wedding at the jail. She will tell people that I came to get her out of jail because I needed my hair done. Everyone laughs. I look at Ginger and our eyes meet. We both smile the kind of smile friends share when they know something no one else knows. I know her heart still hurts for those women she met and left behind in the jail that day.
If you would like to meet Ginger in person or come to the best hair salon, check out NOLAS (SALON spelled backwards) at http://www.nolassalon.net/