By the time I found myself supporting my three adorable children on my own, I had also almost literally fallen into a modeling career…of sorts. I started out going to Miss Compton’s Modeling School to develop self-confidence, but before the end of the scheduled classes had ended up in live fashion shows and print. It was a heady time.
I ventured out to a modeling agency to expand my contacts. I did not know what to expect. Anne Marie, at Creative, just put her pen down and stared at me. I began to wonder what was wrong. I’m sure I blushed.
“You don’t look like a farm girl,” she said.
I was afraid she might be disappointed.
“No. I’m from New York”, I whispered.
Then she smiled a wide smile and put me to work.
First, she sent me to Horst to have my hair conditioned.
In those days, his shop was in a vine-covered brick building.
I had waist-length brown hair, but I swam a mile a day. At that time they didn’t have the great swim shampoos they have today.
He held my ponytail up as high as he could. His staff stopped everything and looked at us.
“Its GREEN!” he spat. Austrian accent.
Sighs of derision followed. I think I turned a bit green as well…
“It has to come off!”
Before I knew it, I had a long pixi cut.
I was stunned. And speechless. This was not what I had anticipated…
Horst examined me again, a furrowed brow. Not a good thing.
“Henna!” he said.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“An herb. You’ll LOVE it!”
And so I baked for nearly two hours with what felt like a jar of clay on my head.
But by the time, I had shiny, rippling — burgundy red — hair.
I sighed. And left.
The next day, Anne Marie looked at me again.
“You’re a redhead!” she said.
“Yes,” I squeaked.
“That will be great for cattle calls.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, not really wanting to know
“We send a blonde, a brunette and a redhead. You’re the redhead.”
And so Horst literally launchec my career.
And for a season, I became the “It” girl.
It was. heady experience. Even TV commercials and a billboard in St. Paul.
But there was more to the story…
I was also taking flute lessons with Sid Zeitlin, the cranky yet loveable Principal Flute of the Minnesota Orchestra. I drove a ’73 Superbeetle, and was not about to leave the vintage French flute I had just bought from him (trading in may Hanes), So I carried it with me. And lo and behold, in fittings, I would find myself looking at it and wondering…
Do I really want to have my picture taken without my flute?
And so my modeling days shifted into another gear without my even realizing it…