Self-described “flack, former journalist, Navy vet, autism mom” Ana Beatriz Cholo can't get her hair done at her usual salon because that salon is Salon Meritage, the site of Orange County's largest mass killing.
But Cholo, who is a Courage Campaign communications manager, has come up with a bold idea she believes may help reopen the Seal Beach business where seven people were shot to death inside and an eighth was gunned down in the parking lot.
Since the Oct. 12 tragedy, Salon Meritage has been cleaned up, but it looks sterile, lifeless. Writing on the Huffington Post, Cholo suggests pitching ABC's Extreme Makeover on a renovation of Salon Meritage. She writes:
I could write a letter and have everyone sign it. Wouldn't that be the
best thing ever? I'm already excitedly envisioning the celebration that
happens at the end of the show with the entire community in attendance.
While being attended to by her usual Salon Meritage stylist at a shop a couple doors away recently, Cholo asked her what she thought of the Extreme Makeover idea. The stylist liked it. So did another Salon Meritage employee. But that stylist's customer, identified as Helen, did not say anything.
Until . . .
A half-hour later, Helen's hair is neatly cut and styled. I'm under the
dryer baking my hair. On her way out of the salon, she stops in front of
me, rests on her cane for a moment and tells me “write that letter.”
And then she walks away.
We'll end this post the way Cholo did her own, with a link to the Salon Meritage Memorial Fund.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.