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David Creel: For my father

 

David Creel

 

Most all of you "know" my mama, if only through the dozens of columns I have written about her over the years. She is sick right now, fighting a difficult health battle, and we appreciate any prayers you can send our way. It is, however, my daddy that I want to introduce to you today. 

 

In many ways, he is the person most responsible for my career in the beauty industry. 

 

It might be hard to imagine how a man from a very small country town in Mississippi, with three older sons who pursued more traditional male career paths, would be so supportive of his youngest son''s interest in all things beautiful. No doubt it was hard for him when I was a child, as it was sometimes hard for me, but by the time I got ready to go to work, it was Daddy who put me in business. 

 

I think he had secretly hoped for a pharmacist, but when I had so much trouble with college algebra, the prescription for that dream pretty much ended. For my part, I think the new dream has turned out so much better. 

 

When a young man of 20 in rural Mississippi announces that he has decided to go to "beauty school," ears perk up for sure. In my case, it should not have been too surprising since I had been practicing on my pretty mama for a decade. Instead of lamenting the loss of his pharmacist or worrying about what folks might say, my daddy paid my tuition to beauty school and supported me in my goals. 

 

He also designed, paid for, and oversaw the construction of my very first beauty salon, perhaps the only one on the Dykes Chapel Road out from Richton, right across the street from our family home. It was in that small salon I worked for many years, learning and fine tuning the skills that would one day take me to Mississippi''s most elite salon, Earle and Joseph, now only remembered by those who once worked there and patrons alike, and then to own two boutique salons of my own in the Jackson area.  

 

Later would be classes taught in the Millsaps College lecture series, this newspaper column, national makeup artist opportunities with Estee Lauder, and "makeovers" in local television and newspaper outlets. 

 

I have met Vidal Sassoon, the father of our industry. I have interviewed Frederic Fekkai and Ken Paves, even got rather friendly with Ted Gibson, all among the new giants of the industry. I have seen the runway shows in New York City and Miami and done fashion photo shoots in the Caribbean. My life has been blessed indeed, and to think, I only turn 40 this year. 

 

And when I was a child in Perry County, it started with a mother who allowed a Barbie doll as a fine toy for her little boy and a father who bucked community norms to make a career path for a son who was destined to walk a different path. I have thanked and honored my mama many times, and she deserves it. But, Daddy, this one is for you, perhaps a week after Father''s Day, but better late than never. 

 

Thanks, Daddy! Love, David.

 

Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at beautifulwithdavid@gmail.com.

 

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