Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek Discover Ohio’s Ancient Cultures during Archaeology Day at Serpent Mound Summer Reading Program ends as new school year approaches Lady Hounds preparing for 2017 volleyball campaign, looking for more improvement A servant’s hands Oh my, nothing better than a sweet tooth Rec Park hosts All-Star Sunday A Saturday night peek at a gridiron future McDowell, McCarty awarded Farm Bureau Scholarships Adams County Medical Foundation awards Dr. Bruce Ashley Legacy Scholarships Your kid on heroin Jerry W Olinger Douglas R Burchett Wayne Cowles Shirley Collins Jack L Yates Wayne Grooms Sr Adams County Building and Loan merging with Southern Hills Community Bank Ahead of Sales Tax Holiday, Attorney General DeWine offers tips for consumers Delores L Cook Harold L Smith Pell, Seas have high hopes for new SSCC campus ‘We prayed and believed it was going to happen’ 4-H Scholarships awarded during Fair Week Showmanship Sweepstakes concludes Junior Fair Competitions Junior Fair Crops are a Premium Show Southern Ohio’s only blackberry farmer wants to make berry pickin’ fun again Challenges ahead for new MLSD Superintendent SAY Soccer celebrating 50 years North Adams hosts Youth Football Mini-Camp Lady Dragons host Soccer Shootout 38 years later, Indians football returns It’s time Ten years and twenty goats later When nobody is watching When a blackberry wasn’t just a cell phone, but delicious Heroin user’s mom says addiction is a disease, not a choice Mary A Wallingford Rickey L Vincent Pauline Ertel William Bryant ACOVSD announces 2017-18 policy for free and reduced lunches What we are made of When summer really arrived Horse project 4-H members head to Ohio State Fair Defender hosts annual Cornhole Tournament George’s Brave Shave’ benefits other Year of planning, work pays off for 2017 fair Local teen opens new business Why can’t you stop? Camp first step in preparation for 2018 Greyhounds on the gridiron Young awarded SEDAB Scholarship Fair hosts Hall of Fame broadcaster Peebles goes back-to-back at the Barnyard The sport of goats

Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday

At 80 years old, beautician Pat Wylie is still going strong at Ruby’s Beauty Shop.
At 80 years old, beautician Pat Wylie is still going strong at Ruby’s Beauty Shop.


After 62 years of styling hair, proprietor of Ruby’s Beauty Shop is still going strong –

Story and photo by Patricia Beech –

Ruby’s Beauty Shop is a West Union landmark.
The little red cottage sitting on the corner of Logan’s Lane is an oasis of sorts for its regular customers. It’s a place where kindred spirits meet to talk and exchange stories, and if they’re lucky, gain a little advise from the proprietor, Pat Wylie.
Wylie, who turned 80 years-old last week, has worked 62 years in the little shop she once shared with her mother, and now shares with her daughter.
The grandmother and great-grandmother of ten runs what might be the most unique boutique in town. People calling for appointments are given a multi-generational choice of beauticians.
“I ask them if they want young, middle aged, or old, and I tell them, if they’re in a hurry to choose young, and if they’ve got time to spend, choose old,” said Wylie.
At 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon Wylie is behind her stylists chair putting the finishing touches on a customer’s hairdo. She doesn’t look her age, or act it. Her dark hair is carefully styled, her nails neatly manicured, and her feet are clad in black socks and silver slides. Her green eyes sparkle when she laughs. She has not lost interest in life or the opportunities it offers. “I love life,” she says. “My mother loved life and my daughter loves life, we were raised to love life.”
“She’s a great person,” says long-time customer Karen Grooms. “She is always giving to others – that’s the kind of person she is.”
Another customer chimes in, “She and her mother both were like that – they’re very giving to people in need.”
Wylie smiles at the compliments and says, “I love living in a small place where people know and take care of each other.”
Wylie says she and her sister were taught to give and help others. “My mother was always giving to others – she bought wedding dresses for girls, she bought formals, she bought band uniforms, she would do anything for the school, she even sent a couple girls to beauty school.”
Wylie is understandably proud of her mother, Ruby Potts, who in 1948 started the family’s beauty business.
“I don’t see how she made it,” says Wylie, “She worked till 1 a.m. some nights. Before I went to bed, I’d stand and feed her her dinner because she wouldn’t stop to eat.”
Wylie says she got her work ethic from her mother.
“I was brought up to believe that if you’re able to get up, walk around, and get dressed, then you’re able to come to work,” she says. “We were taught that you have to keep up, but as I said, I worked for my mother, and I’ve never worked anyplace else.”
Customers at Ruby’s walk into a tiny waiting room that was the original beauty shop opened by Wylie’s mother 68 years ago. Now it is a shrine to her memory. The vintage chairs lining the walls all came from Mrs. Potts’ original salon, the painted walls are decorated with her mother’s state licenses, photos, and a plaque recognizing her 55th year in business. Mrs. Potts worked another seven years in the shop before retiring at the age of 80 for health reasons.
Wylie has no intention of following suit. “I won’t retire until all my customers are gone, then I’ll consider it, but as long as I’m able, I’ll be up here from Tuesday to Saturday, ” she says laughing. “Until then, I’m going to try to keep up with myself, and stand behind the chair, and give people advice.”
Wylie wasn’t always enthusiastic about being a beautician. “I didn’t want to go to beauty school,” she says. “I had to work in my mother’s shop when I was a little girl. My job was picking hairpins up off the floor with a magnet every evening, so I was really tired of it.”
Graduating from high school at 17 years old, she says she didn’t have many options. “I wanted to leave home, everyone does at that age,” she sais. “So, I went to live with my aunt in Dayton and I went to beauty school.”
During her training Wylie returned home every weekend to work in her mother’s shop. “Mother would try to teach me how to do things her way, and I’d tell her ‘Mother, I’m going to beauty school and I have to do things the way they’re teaching me. When I’m out of beauty school, you can teach me your way.”
Through the years, both she and her mother have given many other young beauticians a start in their busy shop.
“My mother was very good about that, many of them are still working,” Wylie says, but adds that it is becoming more difficult for stylist to succeed in business. “So many have quit the business that were so good,” she says, “In beauty work you have no insurance, and today insurance is the main thing.”
At 80, Wylie is considered a fount of wisdom by customers who bypass the waiting area to gather in the salon.
“She’s always willing to help,” says Grooms. “If you have something on your mind and you need to talk to somebody, you can talk to her.”
People who come seeking advice from Wylie don’t always hear what they want to hear. She says she tells them the truth: “I love them, and when you truly love somebody, you have the right to tell them the truth, even it it’s good or bad, or it hurts.”
Concerning beauty shop gossip, Wylie shrugs and says, “We don’t know what goes on under the dryers.” She relates tales of angry customers calling her mother to complain that they were the subject of shop gossip. Mother would tell them, “It may have been told, but I didn’t hear it.”
Wylie says that after she expanded the shop’s space it became impossible to hear customers talking. “We don’t hear a thing,” she says, “And besides, all the gossip comes from barber shops, not beauty salons.”

3 comments:

  1. ive known pat for years ..her mom ,,dad were so good to my mom .dad .Lloyd .ruby sparks,,,,,,,,,,,,,,we lived on their farm for several years ,,,,,,,,,they are the nicest family ever ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,congrats pat ,,,,,,,,,,,,love u all

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved