Source: Sherman Publications

Senior Moments
New ‘dos give Heritage Place residents a lift

by Megan Collier

December 15, 2010

By Megan Collier

Review staff writer

What woman doesn’t feel a little better with a fresh hairdo and polished nails, says Amy Atkeson.

The Lake Orion resident is co-owner of the Downtown Salon in Oxford , and Sunday, Dec. 5, she and coworkers lightened spirits like trees at Christmastime when they offered their salon services free of charge to the ladies – and a few gentlemen – at Heritage Place in Lake Orion.

Atkeson got the idea a few weeks back, when she was at Heritage Place taking care of her grandmother, Mary. Atkeson is the closest living relative to her grandma and makes an effort to visit regularly as well as cut and style her hair.

A few weeks ago, the color came out a little dark for Mary’s taste. The two decided to gather opinions from the ladies in Heritage Place’s community room. Atkeson said all the ladies exclaimed how young she looked and Mary eventually decided she liked the color after all.

But the looks some of the women’s faces inspired Atkeson to help get the whole place dolled up.

She said, “Some of them were saying, ‘I can’t afford to get my hair done,’ or ‘I wish I had someone to take care of me,’ and I said, ‘You know what, I can work that out.’”

Atkeson talked it over with another stylist and the Downtown Salon group decided to come back to Heritage Place Dec. 5 and have a beautification day, free of charge for anyone who wanted a service.

“Because I don’t have kids, I think about growing old and not having anyone there for me. Hopefully, someday somebody will do something nice like that for me. I’m not doing it to get anything out of it, but I was thinking about how I would feel if I was in that situation,” Atkeson said. “What woman doesn’t feel pretty to have polished fingers or to have your hair done? It just really lifted their spirits.”

In addition to a buffet lunch, Atkeson and her staff provided haircuts, coloring, styling, waxing and nails. Atkeson started setting up at 9:30 a.m. and was joined by three other staff at noon. The quartet worked until 7:30 p.m., doing hair and nails for about 30 ladies and a few gentlemen.

“A lot of them thought they could only have one service done, and I kept saying, no, you can have anything you want!” Atkeson said, adding “It was just fun.”

Atkeson, originally from Rochester, has owned and operated her salon for 11 years alongside Bobby Johnson.