• 59°

Wineka column: Beautician out with a bang

Beautician Gloria Tugman said she has tried to retire twice before, but Friday was it.
This was final, she promised, noting that she’s coming up on “the big 71.”
In a personal, historic moment late Friday morning, Tugman shampooed, pressed and curled the hair of 90-year-old Katherine M. Smith — Tugman’s last official appointment after 40 years in the business.
“It’s like ending with the beginning,” Tugman said.
Back in 1971, Tugman earned her beautician’s license and apprenticed for six weeks under Smith at the popular Tom Randall’s Beauty and Barber Shop off Craige Street.
The women then worked for decades together at Randall’s, even after he died in 1992 and Barry and Phillip Brown took over the business.
For the past five years, Tugman has worked out of her South Clay Street home in an attached beauty shop built by her husband, William. All that time she has been doing the hair of her old friend, Katherine Smith, and it only seemed right that Smith be her last appointment Friday.
Smith, who worked roughly 60 years at Randall’s before she retired, isn’t sure who will be her new beautician.
“I haven’t even decided,” Smith said. “I hate going to anyone else.”
Out of her home beauty shop — “I tell everybody you’re sitting in my back yard” — Tugman styled the hair of her loyal customers from Randall’s until many of them passed on.
“It just kept going on with people who supported me over the years,” said Tugman, who often baked cakes for her customers. “… I just love to take care of them and make them smile.”
She was still doing the hair of customers such as 95-year-old Mrs. McKinney and 100-year-old Mrs. Monroe. Tugman sometimes would pick up her older customers, drive them to her beauty shop, do their hair and take them back home.
At times they would stop at the grocery store along the way, or Tugman might take a customer to the hospital cafeteria for a good chicken salad sandwich.
The side trips were fun and just part of being a friend, Tugman said.
“That was a blessing for me and for them,” she added. She never charged for the extras.
To all her customers, Tugman has recommended a couple of beauticians who could take her place. “I’m not leaving people in thin air,” she said.
Tugman said she will miss everybody, all their conversations and trying to make them smile.
“All my life, I’ve taken care of elderly people,” she said.
Outside of the shop, she was caregiver in their older years for her mother and father, an aunt, her mother-in-law and a brother-in-law.
“It was just part of me,” she said.
Smith and Tugman worked at Randall’s when it was the hub of activity in Salisbury’s West End, not far from Livingstone College.



“They had the pulse of everything going on,” Shirley Johnson recalled. Tugman was Johnson’s mother’s beautician.
“She was a great friend to her customers,” Johnson added of Tugman. “She was like a psychiatrist.”
Tugman grew up in East Spencer, attended Dunbar High School and moved to Salisbury when she married William almost 50 years ago.
She learned her trade at a beauty college in Winston-Salem. When she started in the business, her women customers could receive a comb, press, shampoo and wash for 50 cents. These days, “the works” cost $35 to $40, and a permanent or curl might jump the price to $65.
“When I started out, I never would have imagined,” she would work this long, Tugman said.
She and William have two grown children and three grandchildren. The couple are active in First Calvary Baptist Church.
In retirement, Gloria Tugman said she will have plenty to do with sewing, interior decorating, going to flea markets and club meetings and even deep sea fishing.
“I’m a champion at that now,” she boasted. “I beat the men folk.”
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or mwineka@salisburypost.com.

Comments

Comments closed.

Education

One speaks, two write to oppose Enochville Elementary closure

Local

City partners with Rowan Helping Ministries to establish donation-driven utilities assistance program

Elections

Board of Elections continues counting absentee ballots, resumes ‘curing’ deficient ones

Business

County commissioners delay consideration of new events center in China Grove

Coronavirus

New COVID-19 outbreak emerges at N.C. State Veterans Home, another declared over

Crime

Police: Two armed men rob local convenience store

Crime

Blotter: Local woman swindled out of hundreds in gift card scam

News

‘People are the parade’: Salisbury’s annual Christmas parade reinvents itself in year of coronavirus

News

Commissioners grant permit, allow Reaper’s Realm to continue operations for remainder of Halloween season

Elections

Republican Rep. Budd maintains fundraising lead over Democratic challenger Huffman

Local

City council to consider ‘Share 2 Care’ fund for locals behind on water, sewer payments

Education

None speak against closure during hearing to shutter Faith Elementary

Crime

Blotter: Police find car windows shot out, bullet holes in home on West Horah Street

Crime

Five held at gunpoint in East Lafayette Street robbery

Ask Us

Ask Us: Readers ask questions about Shober Bridge, voting safeguards

Elections

Political notebook: More than 1.4 million votes cast already in North Carolina

Elections

‘Souls to the polls’: More than 1,300 cast ballots on first Sunday of early voting

Crime

Crime blotter: Salisbury man faces charges for firing shotgun in city limits, drug possession

Local

Search continues for missing hiker from Asheville

Local

A stroll through the scarecrows: fall-themed activity draws visitors to NC Transportation Museum

Elections

Despite scandal, Cunningham maintains small lead in Senate race; supporters say policy positions more important

Lifestyle

Rowan Helping Ministries golf tournament raises $20,000

Local

Town of Spencer forging ahead five years after drafting plans for Park Plaza

Business

Biz Roundup: RCCC to host conference on diversity, equity and inclusion