August 6, 1962   no responses

Toni perm

I was walking past a beauty parlor the other day, a wave of nostalgia overcame me like Proust’s smelling his little cookies. It was the acrid smell of someone getting their hair permed that brought me back to 1950.

There was a Saturday ritual of my mother sitting in a kitchen chair applying the contents of TONI on her hair, a home permanent wave brand concoction. That pungent vinegary smell transports me back to that afternoon with my mother, applying that horrid stuff and asking, “Am I done yet?”  Then she would don this huge plastic bonnet of her Sunbeam Hairdryer and bake!

Because of “Toni”, I always resented when someone spelled my name with an “i”. It’s TONY! Of course in Italy Toni is the way you spell Tony but I was too macho to accept it. Plus growing up I was Anthony anyway and my dad was Tony.  And the boys name Francis is spelled with an “i” so go figure…

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