Hiram A. McAdams

Jennie Robbins - Alice Rebecca Williamson

Flapper Hair Cuts

Flapper Hair CutsBy Sue Wafer Gilpin

Apparently, long flowing tresses epitomized the conforming image of pristine femininity, but that was symbolic of the Dark Age - certainly not of the Roaring 20's. "Let's cut our hair like the modern flappers, Ruth. Poppa won't like it, but he can't do anything about it once it's done!" Ruth objected, "My Poppa will kill me!" The deal was finally set - Ruth would cut Alete's hair first, then she'd cut Ruth's. My mother was pleased with the whacking job, but when Alete took up the magic shears to transform her aunt into a modern miss, Ruth lost her courage and refused to go under the treatment.

So, mother faced the wrath of the McAdams men, as well as her father's, alone. I don't know whether or not Ruth ever submitted to a haircut, but my mother wore her hair bobbed for the remainder of her life. Ruth must have been quite creative with those scissors! The Jazz Age had infected the nation's youth of the Roaring 20's with the same impact as the Big Bands of the "Silent 50's" and the Rock era of the 60's. Maydell responded to its influence with her music, but Ruth McAdams and Alete Thompson had other ideas. Going "away" to college was their initial display of independence, but they wanted to make a stronger statement of freedom. Alete's sense of adventure, colored with mischievous rebellion, prompted her to make a brazen pact with Ruth.