During the remodel of the Burlingame Fred Meyer store this Spring, the old sign for D’Angelo’s Hair Fashions was temporarily uncovered. I posted a picture of it here, which prompted a comment from reader Patrick McDougall: I noticed the sign the other day along with the “Burlingame” lettering, and have posted photos of both on my Walking Photos site. A bit of Googling revealed that Channel 8 ran a brief story on the Burlingame Freddy’s, and on the Facebook page for Ch. 8′s “Live at 7″ show, a woman named Denise D’Angelo posted a note about the hair salon’s sign. Turns out her dad was the owner, and Denise herself is currently a faculty advisor at The School of Hair Design at Mt Hood Community College. If you use Facebook you could probably contact Denise to ask for more background info. These little remnants of history are definitely quite interesting.
Thank you, Patrick, for the excellent information and suggestions. FaceBook is an amazing resource, and indeed I was able to contact Denise D’Angelo, and then her aunt, Patti Foglesong. Patti worked at the salon owned by her brother and Denise’s uncle, Dennis Lee D’Angelo, known professionally as “Mr. Lee”. Denise stated that, “Lee is his middle name and when he started out (I believe it was in Beaverton) there was already a Mr. Dennis, so he chose his second name.”
The following is what Patti graciously shared with me, and she gave me permission to share the contents of our conversation here.
The D’Angelo family moved to the Burlingame area in 1947, when Dennis was a young child. For many years they lived on SW 14th, which is now next to I-5. (The house itself is a part of SW Portland history. It is situated along what is now Multnomah Boulevard, a former railroad line, and over the years served as a hotel, brothel, and post office.) After graduation from Wilson High School, Dennis was trained as a professional stylist, cosmetologist, and barber. He was also an accomplished jazz pianist.
Dennis’ father loaned him the money to start the business that operated at the Burlingame location from 1961 to 1978. At the time, Freddy’s leased a number of spaces to small businesses, including a laundromat, and Joyce’s Barbershop. The salon had big picture windows, and was well-located (for marketing purposes) near the Fred Meyer drive-around, where shoppers pulled in to have their groceries loaded into their cars. The shop had a swinging glass door, inscribed with a large letter ‘D’ in the center of a diamond, and the words, “Where Hair Cutting is an Art”. The graphics were done by the same artist who created Tom Peterson’s iconic face. (My research to find the artist’s/advertising firm’s name came up empty. Readers?)
To drum up customers for this new business, Dennis’ father got the idea to pay a newspaper delivery person for placing D’Angelo’s Hair Fashions fliers, promoting a special on permanents, in the Sunday papers, at the rate of $.05 per paper. This only lasted for two weeks, but served its purpose.
The salon was a successful small business, and there were usually three or four people working there. The clientele was mixed, and some patrons were quite well-to-do. Clients included Rose Festival pricesses, many people from the KGW television station, and local radio personality Barney Keep. Former Governor Tom McCall was also there for a haircut on occasion.
Patti fondly remembered that Dennis disliked doing the popular 60’s up-do hairstyles, because of all the extra back-combing, drying time, etc., so she would teasingly (no pun intended) schedule him for these types of appointments.
Dennis D’Angelo died at age 52.
According to a brief autobiographical statement (more information here), Dennis D’Angelo was an Instructor of Hair Design at Cosmetology Careers Unlimited, Inc., and Trichologist and Director of Pilo Genic Hair and Skin Clinic and Analytical Lab., Inc. In addition, he was a working member of Musicians Mutual Association. He was appointed to the Oregon State Board of Cosmetic Therapy by Governor Straub in 1975, and served as the President of the Oregon Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association.
Thank you to Patti Foglesong for much of the above information. Patti herself is a wealth of information and stories about the area. She lives in SE Portland and welcomes those with inquiries to contact her through FaceBook.