|We are told these pieces
originally belonged to Ethel Owen. Possibly from our first beauty salon?
|Story by Pat Judkins.
Ethel Johnson married Dick Owen at the Community Church on November of 1950. Rev. Charles
Coon officiated. In 1946 Ethel began setting hair in her kitchen. Later a Beauty Shop was
built on the front of the property, where Camelot Realty is now. Ethel was the first hair
stylist and barber here.
Ethel told me they went to San Bernardino, paid $1 for a building permit and started
building. She said there were no inspections. You just filed a Notice of Completion when
She met Dick on a blind date. They attended a Lion's party in Helendale. Their second date
they went dancing at the newly opened Apple Valley Inn. Dick's father used to say they did
their courting in the hay fields, as after each date Dick took Ethel to various fields
where he was to bale hay the next morning. "He said he wanted to see if the dew was
putting the proper moisture content in the alfalfa he was supposed to bail," Ethel
She was quite a hearty gal. Before she married Dick, she was alone one night when two
horses got out. One horse returned with a 7" long and 3" deep gash in its chest.
No veterinarian was available for 24 hours, and Ethel wasn't sure about leaving the wound
open that long. "What would a pioneer woman do?" she wondered. Then she realized
she was a pioneer woman for that point in time, so she got out her curved upholstery
needle and a spool of button and carpet threat and soaked them in alcohol. She washed the
wound with cotton and a lysol solution. Next she got busy stitching up the horse. "I
pulled a lot of meat together," Ethel said. "Fortunately the horse cooperated!
The vet commended her, and her Hambletonian ex-cavalry horse recovered.
She had encounters with a rattlesnake and other varmints. One time she noticed the waste
basket under the sink was not in the same place each morning as she had left it the night
before. She figured she had a rat, so she went to Dan Stewart's General Store (where
Behind the Chutes is now). She purchased a rat trap and put it in place. She said there
was a board missing behind the sink. She heard a commotion and ran over just in time to
see the back end of a skunk going down the hole with its hind leg caught in the trap. With
a few kicks, it left the trap behind. "That wasn't all it left behind, but we managed
to get through the night.," she said.
I could write about Dick & Ethel Owen all night. They were true characters;