Photo via: ABC 7 NY
For 99-year-old Callie Terrell, styling hair has been more than a career path. It has become a labor of love and her way of keeping busy and active in her community. Now, just about a month away from her 100th birthday, Terrell is looking forward to celebrating this milestone with plans to officially retire.
According to the state of Tennessee records, Terrell was first issued her license to practice cosmetology in the state on January 30, 1945. When asked why she continues to style hair into the “golden years” of her life, Terrell states: “I work because this is what I’ve enjoyed doing all my life. From a little girl I always loved messing with my sisters’ hair. They had beautiful hair. And I always enjoyed doing this.”
In many ways, continuing to style the hair of her longtime customers has been the secret to her longevity in the field and as an aging person. She once owned and worked in a successful shop of her own. Now, she simply rents space in a local shop where she is revered as a treasured elder in the field and where she can practice her beloved craft for as long as she has the desire to do so.
With retirement on the horizon, Terrell’s vibrant spirit still has no plans to slow down just yet. “I’m not used to just being up in the house. You see I worked so long, I’ve just been around people and doing something exciting,” she said. “Most old people, they’re so dry and droll. I can’t deal with that. I gotta live and do the things that make me happy.”
Terrell will celebrate her 100th birthday on November 26th.