Sunday, May 22, 2011

Linda Schwartz

Hair. Shave it, wax it, dry it, dye it, it’s always an issue. Not just for swimmers. But, probably especially for swimmers looking to keep the hair (on top of their head) in good shape, it’s even more of an issue. Well, it is for me anyway. Chlorine wreaks havoc on my hair. Drying, cracking, fading color, and then of course the endless products I buy to combat all of the above barely help my dehydrated, sagging curls.

What happened to the enduring sun kissed blonde/ greenish hair of my youth? How I miss thee.

Judy, Katie and a Bottle of "Sun In." 1988

This is from 1988. I was in Hawaii with my friend Katie. This is what a bottle of “Sun In” and a little chlorine can do to your hair.  Can you say straw?  

The first time I met Linda Schwartz was in the locker room at The Plunge, she was outgoing and I was incoming.  She’s a petite woman who was drying her soaking wet hair, which was pressed flat against her scalp. 

Linda Schwartz sans fabu Hair 

 She was talking to another woman, who as it turned out, was planning her 80th birthday party.  They two were talking about it being a costume party and I believe someone was planning on going as a stripper or maybe it was someone hired a stripper? Either way, the conversation caught my attention. 

The three of us started talking. This soon to be 80 year old who looked to be about 55 impressed me.  Screw the dry hair; swimming will reverse the aging process everywhere else.

By the time we had finished our conversation, Linda, had finished drying her hair (she was fast) and in the process metamorphosed her entire appearance. She transformed her lanky, moist hair into the most amazing, luscious puff of grey shoulder length elegance I had seen in a long time.  I was shocked at how her hair transformed her appearance.  I knew then she had to be photographed.

Linda Schwartz and her secret hair 

I got to know her over the course of a few weeks. I learned that she was a retired school teacher and swims with her best friend of 20 years, Liz Weiner, and they swim very early in the morning. I guess getting up early all those years stays with you. Personally, I think she’s probably tougher than I am because it’s COLD at 7am, but there’s Linda, unrecognizable in her swim regalia swimming for an hour.   She’s in amazing shape and besides the swimming she’s an avid hiker and walker.

Linda is so striking in person, I told her, and I thought she should take up modeling. She laughed and told me it was a life long dream.

I just may have to cast her in a project.

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