From My Childhood – Rag Curls


[ Curly curls ]

December 21 – Rag curls come to my mind in connection with Ma. Patiently she would wrap the thin strips of sheeting round and round each lock of hair, tying it tightly at the top so that when she was finished, I would have white rags sticking out in all directions from my head. Going to bed with those torture rags on my head was a real ordeal. I couldn’t find a good spot for my head anywhere on the pillow that was comfortable! If I were lying on my back, the back of my head would hurt where the bits of hair would pull out from my neck. On my side, those hard white bits would squash my ears.

But joy of joys at morning light! I would run quickly to Ma to have her take those hated rags off my hair. Carefully unwinding them, she would find many tight corkscrew curls underneath. Gently twisting them around her fingers and combing them out a bit, she would make me thick curls which were the envy of all my friends.

One related incident I will never forget! We younger ones always had to take a daily nap, while the older ones worked or played. One day while I was sleeping, one of my brothers took the scissors from the kitchen drawer, came quietly to the bed where I was lying on my side, and gently cut off three or four of the big curls on the back of my head. You can just imagine what happened when I woke up and went to the kitchen where Ma was working. The culprit admitted his crime, but I don’t remember which boy it was. I looked pretty strange for a long, long time, with big beautiful curls on both sides of my head, but a real void at the back. Kids’ hair does grow fast, yes, but in that case, not fast enough! – CHRIS

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