Sharlyn Chitwood is retiring from her duties at her hair salon, Sharlyn’s Beauty Den in Tarkio. A surprise party was held in her honor on Saturday, August 10, at the Tarkio Resource Center.  (Photo by Tammy Chitwood Moore)

Sharlyn Chitwood of Tarkio, Missouri, is retiring from her duties at her hair salon, Sharlyn’s Beauty Den in Tarkio. Kathy Athen and Sharlyn’s family and friends held a surprise party for Sharlyn Saturday, August 10, at the Tarkio Resource Center. Sharlyn was extremely surprised and appreciative: “Boy, did I get a surprise this weekend! On August 9, I heard a knock on the door and opened it up to my 10-year-old grandson, Takoda, and 5-year granddaughter, Aliceson. Surprise! My daughter, Tammy, came up from Lake of the Ozarks to surprise me. The next day we went to the Tarkio Resource Center. Surprise again! My daughters Tammy and Debbie, son James, husband Darel, and Kathy Athen planned a 50 year retirement party for me.”

Fifty years is a long time for someone to do business and Sharlyn has been a much-loved hairstylist for all those years. Sharlyn worked for Jessie and Cecil Green at Green’s Cafe in Rock Port after graduating high school, then attended Caster’s Beauty Academy in St. Joseph, Missouri, graduating in 1971. On November 11, 1971, Sharlyn worked her first job as a hairdresser at Bev’s Beauty Bar for Bev Scamman in Rock Port. She also worked for Marvel Meyer’s Beauty Shop in Rock Port while Marvel’s husband was sick. Sharlyn filled in working for Edna Smith’s Beauty Shop in Tarkio and in 1975, she worked for W.L. Raines at the Modern Beauty Shop in Tarkio. In November of 1976, she bought Sharlyn’s Beauty Den at 406 Main Street. Ten years later, she moved the shop to 306 Main Street. When she first started out, haircuts were $1.50, manicures $1.50, and shampoo and set were $2. Though times and prices changed, Sharlyn’s love for cutting and styling hair did not and she’s been a business staple on Main Street ever since. Many people, especially the older women of Tarkio, have enjoyed not only having their hair done, but taking part in friendly conversation and treats while there.

“After serving the public, because of health and surgery and with tears in my eyes, it was time to give it up,” said Sharlyn. “My dear friend, Kathy Athen, who has been working at the shop for 22 years, is going to continue running the business. The shop has been like a beautiful flower garden with no weeds. So, to end my story, my surprise party was wonderful. The cards and gifts from my family, shop family, church family, and friends from the Christian Motorcyclists Association were beautiful. I always said, ‘Hard work never hurt anyone. It’s the long hours that will kill you. Brows may wrinkle, hair will grow grey, but friendship never knows decay.’ God bless everyone!”