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Personalitys in the revolution of hair design in the 60s 70s | all galleries >> Galleries >> roger_thompson_gallery > 1993, Peg who worked with Roger!
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1993, Peg who worked with Roger!

When I first heard of Roger doing a salon in Dallas, I had just come back from
London from an extensive training class at Sassoon's Bond St. school. I was 10
years in to my career and bored with Dallas and most of my piers. I craved
more. A co-worker showed me a piece in the newspaper calling for a tryout for
Roger's salon in Barney's Dallas, first I thought "why Dallas" (I would learn
later, this was not Roger's choice, but the first location that had enough room
for a salon that Barney's was expanding to), but thought why not try, maybe I
could be so lucky to get chosen. So I sent a resume to New York, a week later I
was standing in my apartment getting ready for work and my phone rang, on the
other end was the velvet voice of an English gentleman, Roger himself, I almost
died. He told me of the plans to do the salon and said that it would be close to
a year until it was
finished, but that he and his wife and daughter were going
to be in Dallas in a few weeks to see the site and would I like to have lunch?
He told me to pick the spot and let him know where. Of course I thought I have
to pick the right place to give him a good impression of Dallas and of me, so I
picked and Italian place that had a nice Sunday brunch that was not ostentatious
but sort of eclectic, and I showed up at the time we discussed, I had almost
waist length hair at the time and it is curly and dark (I am half Italian) I
wore my black velvet vintage coat that I had just gotten at Camden Market in
London, along with a skirt and my black cowboy boots, (that was the style in
1988). I was so nervous! I walked in and told the front that I was meeting a man
by the name of Roger Thompson, but before I could get his name out he was
walking fastly toward me, hand extended, smiling widely. We talked for 2 hours
and that is how it began. I did 5 models for him when we actually did tryouts. I
did 3 haircut models and 2 color models. I trained with him for cutting, but he
actually let me do color as well, I was the backup for the colorist that he
brought with him from New York, but we pushed my haircuts more. I would learn
later, that first day we met, Roger was actually nervous as to what I would look
like, (Dallas having the reputation of "inflated BIG hair") he had told his wife
and daughter, "If an over teased woman" walks in the door, lets pretend we did not
show up and I won't do the salon here.", evidently he was so pleased to see that
I had dark naturally curly hair that he said he jumped up and ran to meet me!
Shirley traveled with Roger to Dallas a lot in the first few years, but the last
4 he came mostly on his own. In 1992 he got Limes disease, and it really
affected his ability to work for about 6 months, when he finally got his game
back, I remember it was spring and after work we packed a picnic and me and
Roger and one of my other co-workers set out to Shakespeare in the Park to see a
show, Roger went walking before the show back to the concessions, after a while
when he was not back I looked around to see where he was, he was on the hill
looking over the grounds smoking a cigar with a huge smile on his face, I will
always have that vision of him imprinted in my brain. We went to dinner a lot
together on his trips down and spent a lot of time getting to know each other.
He truly has the most integrity and dignity of anyone I know. After he closed
the salon here, I opened salon three thirty (named for the suite number of
Roger's salon in Barney's) along with my other co-worker that had stuck with
Roger till the end. Roger came down and worked 3 or 4 times with us in the
beginning of salon three thirty. The last time was November of 1998, I will
never forget that time, he was not himself, and sat down a lot. When I questioned
him as to what was the matter, he said he had a funny headache that would not go
away. One month later was when he was diagnosed with the tumor in his brain. I
talked to him over the next months several times, the last time I told him that
I wanted to come see him, Vidal had just been to visit him as well as some other people,and he needed to rest. He said he did not want me to see him that way,
I told him that I loved him and would keep checking back with he and Shirley to
see how he was getting on. He thanked me for everything and told me that he
loved me too and would speak to me soon. The night he died, I had a vivid dream
of talking to Shirley and in the dream she told me he had died. I woke up and
looked at the clock it was around midnight. 2 days later I found out that he had
indeed died, and had died the night of my dream. It is hard to think of all of
this. As I told John, Roger was like a father to me. I was raised by a single
mom and my own father was only in my life during summers growing up. Roger
helped to ground me and not only gave me his gift of his craft, but helped me to
personally grow to whom I am today. I named my son after Roger. His name is (For later). He is 7 now.
All these years later, it is still hard to believe that Roger is gone. I know
he is still standing behind me watching every hair cut I do, telling me when I=20
get a little lazy or when I held too much tension on that bob behind the ear
connecting to the front. And I can still hear him tell me that the most
challenging thing in hairdressing is to "keep yourself challenged". I watch most
of my piers now and they don't get it, allot of them call me the "micro cutter"
ha, if they only knew! In Rogers years that I was with him, we focused on the
texture, thickness and movement of the hair, analyzing those characteristic and
sculpting those into an individual and unique look for everyone that sits in our
chair, we (my business partner and I) still cut hair that way today. Well there
you have it, !


other sizes: small original auto
James d 04-Dec-2014 20:31
Peg,I dreamed of working with Roger all my life.
To watch him use his cutting tool like it was a extension of his body was amazing.
Are you still in Dallas?
James Keating 04-Jun-2013 02:10
A truly touching story I can very much relate to! Bless you for being attentive to him. I am sure you had a fabulous relationship. Hope to meet you some day and see your smile. You'll have to come to Thailand though. I don't do the U.S. anymore! Best to you, Cheers James
john lebeau jordan 15-Feb-2009 22:07
I enjoyed you piece about ROGER Thompson. In the late seventys and early eightys id go to Phillip masons salon in san francisco for work shops with him.I learned so much from him.
Im glad your still"micro cutting" so im I..Natural creative hair cutting is why i still love it after all these year...john
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