Beloved, longtime hair salon closes in Utopia

Ninety-six-year-old Utopia resident Alice Lemond gets her last shampoo from Rosella Motz at Erma’s Beauty Shop. The longtime Utopia business closed Wednesday after 31 years in operation so that Erma Starr and Rosella Motz could embark on adventures in retirement.

Erma’s Beauty Shop has been a mainstay in the Utopia community for the past 31 years. Erma Schaefer Starr and Rosella Motz have operated the iconic small-town shop to keep all the ladies looking sharp with hair trimmed up and curled. 

The standing appointments of the older ladies were pretty much set in stone, and nothing interfered with the Thursday or Friday appointed hour for getting all prettied up. Old-fashioned rollers and a combination of just the right amount of teasing and some stiff spray would assure that the weekly ‘do would almost last till the next appointment. 

When questioning my mother, a regular for all these years, about what she learned at the beauty shop on her appointed day she would assure me that they did not gossip at Ermas. However, she would have several tidbits of news that was just passed on in the spirit of caring about others in the community. 

December 1 marked the last day to get cut and curled with Erma and Rosella. Although their customers wished them the best in the years ahead, this day marked the end of a long run for this business in our town, and we are all a little sad at its closing. 

Good luck ladies in the days ahead, and may your retirements be relaxing and rewarding. Thanks for caring for so many sweet ladies who planned their week around the appointed hour to travel to town to get their hair done. 

Christmas events

Christmas season is upon us in the Sabinal Canyon with the lighting of the community tree last night following the parade of beautifully lit floats and vehicles. The Utopia Lions Club and assistants from other groups sponsor this popular event. Santa’s helper was on hand to listen to the wishes of all the young people and smile for a lot of pictures. 

The annual Holiday Open House will be held Dec. 14 in most of the businesses along Main Street. Shops will offer sales and door prizes along with tasty treats and drinks. 

This will be a great opportunity to wrap up the gift list with some significant sales while having a fun time. Out-of-town visitors are welcome to enjoy the drive to the Sabinal Canyon, which has been quite beautiful lately, have lunch at one of our tasty eating spots, and get in on some great shopping. 

Erma Starr (left) and Rosella Motz of Erma’s Beauty Shop with the celebratory cake they shared with customers Wednesday, the last day of operation for 31-year-business Erma’s Beauty Shop.

Rodeo honors

The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association recently named Madison Outhier as the Rookie of the Year in the breakaway roping event and her horse, Rooster, was named runner-up Roping Horse of the Year.

Outhier claims Utopia as her home although she graduated from high school in Fulshear this past May. She is currently attending Texas A&M University where she is a member of the rodeo team. 

Mike and Kristy Outhier raise bucking horses at their ranch in Utopia and several of their stock have been selected to buck out at the National Finals Rodeo in progress in Las Vegas. Just for fun, here are the names of the horses performing there in case you rodeo fans might like to watch for them. “Utopia” will be easy to recognize, but other horses go by High Heels, Sweet Maria, Toma Jo, Billile, Secret Agent and Betty Boop. 

Each of these top bucking horses got their start at the Utopia Ranch Rodeo or in the Outhier arena south of town. 

Around Town

Utopia lost another native citizen this past week with the passing of Everette Boyce on Wednesday. Everette had led a long and happy life in the Sabinal Canyon. 

My earliest memories of him are from the years he owned and operated the Texaco Garage. Full service at its best – fill the gas tank, check the tires, wash the windshield, check the oil and all with a cheerful smile and usually a compliment. 

Everette later retired to real estate and insurance sales along with his devoted wife, Katherine. He was a dedicated member of the Lions Club and the Methodist Church. Everette loved music and always made a special effort to thank me for playing some of his favorite hymns on Sundays. Condolences to his family and may they recall many happy memories in the days ahead. 

Remember the laying of the Wreaths Across America on Dec. 18, starting with a dedication on the Town Square at 11 a.m. Volunteers will then divide the wreaths for our three cemeteries to honor every veteran buried in Utopia and Vanderpool. 

All are welcome to participate in this special holiday event.