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T RU E
e o L o R s Ir
HAIR DYE OF AND THEPOSTWAR
HIDDEN AMERICA HISTORY
During the Depression - long befot~ she became one of the most famous copywriters of her day - Shirley Polykoff met aman namedGeorge Halperin. He was the son of an Orthodox rabbi from Reading, Pennsylvania, and soon after they began courting he took her home for Passover to meet his family. Theyate roast chicken, tzimrnes, and sponge cake, and PoIykoff hit it off with Rabbi Halperin, who was warm and funny. George's mother was another story. She was Old WorldOrthodox, with severe, tightly pulled back hair; no one was good enough for her son. "How' d 1 do, George?" Shirley asked as soon as they got in the car for the drive home,"Did your mother like me?" .1 H~';;"as evasive. "My sister 1Yifdred thought you were great." "That's nice, George," she said. "But what did your mother say?"
.' nair. There was a pause, "Sh e says you pamt your hair." Another pause. "Well, do you?" Shirley Polykoff was humiliated, In Íler miRd she could hear her future mother-in-law: Fahrbtzi der h:u:er?Oder fahrbt zi nisht? Does'~he color her hair? Or e1oesn't she?~>"; The answer, of course, was that she did. Shirley Polykoff always dyed her hair, even in medays when the only women who went blond were chorusgili~s aa.diAsG:okers. At horne in Brooklya, starting whenshewas fif.treen, she would go to Mr: Nicholas's beauty salon,one flight up, and he would "lighten the back" unúl aU traces of her natural brown were gone. She thoughe sne ought te be a blonde - or, to be more precise, she thou-gl
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