Monday, December 16, 2013

A contest plus memories of a salon owner

Taking a casual walk in Kerrville's downtown area, one passes several commercial buildings over 100 years old, and I thought it might be fun, Gentle Reader, to have a small contest.
At stakes: bragging rights. The person giving first correct answer will be hereby proclaimed a Kerrville History Expert, entitling one to all the rights and privileges thereto. (Basically, the winner will get free parking in public parking spaces around town.)
A partial list of the old buildings in downtown Kerrville would include the following:
The Arcadia Theater
The Weston Building (the current home of Francisco's Restuarant)
The Guthrie Building (the current home of Clack's law office)
The Masonic Building (the current home of Sheftall's Jewelers)
The Favorite Saloon (the current home of Hill Country Living)
The Charles Schreiner Mansion
The Pampell's Building
The Davis Building (the current home of Cricket's)
The Cone Building (the current home of Voelkel Engineering
The old Post Office (the current home of the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center)
The Kerr County Courthouse
The Baehre Building (the current home of Rita's Famous Tacos and Creative Cakes by Sharon)
The Wolfmueller Bakery (the current home of Briscoe-Hall advertising agency)
the former Kerrville Main Street offices (at 715 Water Street)
The Fawcett Furniture building (the current home of Sunrise Antique Mall)
The Noll building (the current home of River's Edge Gallery -- their new expansion; formerly the Home Center)
The Schreiner Store
This list does not include residences or churches, and does not include buildings found outside of the traditional downtown area of Kerrville. I'm sure I've overlooked one or two -- so let me apologize in advance for any I've omitted.
Ok, here's the contest: of the 17 buildings listed above, which five are the oldest, in order of oldest to newest?  I'm looking for a list of five buildings: the oldest, the next oldest, the next oldest, and so on.
To enter, send your answers to my attention at the Kerrville Daily Times, 429 Jefferson Street, Kerrville, or click HERE to enter the contest.
* * *
I was saddened to read this week about Ann Hammack's passing. She was a gracious lady, and I've known her since I was a boy; we attended the same church.
Mrs. Hammack owned several local beauty salons over the years, including the Inn of the Hills Salon, and the House of Castilian.
One salon in particular, however, tied Mrs. Hammack's career to my own: the Modern Beauty Salon.
During the restoration of our building, after a devastating fire in April, 1995, my father found an old hand-painted sign on an interior wall. The sign had been obscured by plaster for many years, and had once been on an exterior wall of our building. Later, during one of the many alterations of the building an addition was built, and so the old exterior wall became an interior wall.
The sign says "Modern Beauty Salon/ Permanent Wave $5 and up/ Shampoo and Set $1."
The Modern Beauty Salon, according to the research of Deborah Gaudier, was opened in 1937 by Bruce Long, in the "new Parsons building."  Later, in July 1949, a news  item said Rae Fergason, Ann Hammack, and Eloise Brown would be "glad to see their old friends and make new ones at the Modern Beauty Salon."
Ms. Hammack, then, worked for several years in the same building where my family has run our printing shop since 1965. It always interests me to know about the folks who've spent their working days within the same four walls as I have.
After the beauty salon left the building, a print shop opened here. The first, around 1950, was owned by a Harold Wilson; later Paul McDonald bought Wilson's shop. A series of owners followed, including, I believe, Haskell Fine and J. Marvin Hunter. My parents began their printing company in November 1964, and purchased Hunter's printing company in 1965.
The old Modern Beauty Salon sign graces the wall of our pressroom, and I'll be happy to show it to anyone who is interested. I will miss Mrs. Hammack. She was a kind person, with a ready laugh, and a wonderful Kerrville accent.
Until next week, all the best. Don't forget the contest!
Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who puts ink on paper. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times on December 14th, 2013.

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