Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

April 13, 2004 > Come to Lacy's Place for a Shear Power Cut

Come to Lacy's Place for a Shear Power Cut

There is nothing typical about Lacy's place. The name on the door says, Shear Power and it masquerades as a hair salon and beauty parlor, but once past the threshold, any shred of the ordinary is lost. Two salon chairs wait for the next customers on one side of the small shop and their owner, Debbie Hernandez can make customers look good with thirty years of experience cutting and shaping hair along with the ability to create magical makeovers for young Prom Queens or sassy moms. The salon is open by appointment only and has been a favorite for years by those who hear by word of mouth. Debbie does have some openings at the present time and will take new clients. Crowding the "salon" are collectibles that defy organization and description. Here is a fun grab bag of items that have accumulated from a thousand different directions. Ask Debbie (aka Lacy, but we will get to that later!) where it all comes from and she shrugs her shoulders and says, they just appear - friends, neighbors and acquaintances.

Vintage hats are one of Debbie's passions and the walls are dotted with them - all colors and styles. The room is a wonderful storm of color, chaos and merriment. In the midst of this unbridled energy stands a charming and beautiful lady decked out in lace toting a shotgun with six shooters on her hips. "Lacy" has arrived and although often mistaken for mild mannered Debbie Hernandez, proprietor of Shear Power, this gun totin' mama is a wild spirit of the Old West. This avocation is not so surprising when considering that Debbie has been attracted to athletic activities throughout her life. She says, "I started out in gymnastics, moved to Hawaii and started surfing, was on a baseball team, a co-ed soccer team and downhill snow skiing racing." Injuries and the active lifestyle began to wear her down a bit and she began looking for another outlet for her energy.

About eight months ago, Debbie - she was Debbie at that time - was invited by a friend to a meeting of the Single Action Shooting Society. Men and Women members were dressed in costumes of the old west and competed in shooting contests using replicas of vintage firearms. Terrified of guns, Debbie declined invitations to take part in the match saying, "I can dress up and watch, but I really don't want to handle guns." After several visits to society meetings, she was finally persuaded to handle a rifle and although still uneasy around the vintage firearms, she took part in a meet and managed to get off a few good shots. The January 20th issue of the Western Record, a newspaper of the Old West Shooting Society, reports that Lacy was in the hunt for a place in old west history at a recent society shootout. Hanging out with the likes of Harris Hawk, Sand Dab Sam, I.M. Nobody and El Passo Gasso is an interesting experience and "a lot of fun," says Lacy.

The firearms are borrowed and heavy but Lacy prefers them. She shoots a double barrel, double trigger shotgun and 1866 Winchester and a pair of Colt 45 pistols. Although Lacy still retains some fear of the guns, she says paradoxically, "It's fun - a major adrenalin rush." Her name "Lacy" is indicative of the clothing preference of her old west persona. Decked out in lace that has been garnered from second hand stores, garage sales, flea markets or wherever, Lacy's beautiful smile gives a glow to her outfits that some in the Old West Society would spend thousands of dollars in an effort to match. At a recent meet, Lacy showed up in full costume for the grand total of $30! She competed against a tough group of cowgirls - Shotgun Lil, Brandy Rose, Betty Lou and Madame Wicked - but held her own.

Lacy (I am more comfortable thinking of her that way) is currently suffering from a tendon problem in her shooting hand yet, true to the spirit of the pioneers, still takes part, using four of five fingers of her right hand. Steadily improving, even with her present handicap, Lacy with eight month's experience is competing with women that have been shooting for 15 years. Lacy still is able to cut hair, but is scheduled for surgery to correct the painful hand problem and worries about the recovery period when her hand will be in a cast. Lacy's 17 year-old daughter, Sandra, who has chosen the name "Hot Shot," has also caught the bug of Old West shooting and is competing successfully after just a few months of practice. Hot Shot wears some of her old theatrical costumes, a fringed suede jacket with a high collar blouse and pulls her hair back.

A small shop in a historic building on the main street of Niles named Shear Power is waiting for you to visit and Debbie Hernandez is waiting to make your hair look its best. For the ultimate experience for your hair, your heart and some interesting conversation about the life and times of Lacy, this is the place to go. Make an appointment with Lacy soon since she says that her surgery will temporarily close the hair salon while her hand heals. In the meantime, come by and meet Lacy, a rose (certainly not faded!) of the old west.

Shear Power
37433 Niles Blvd., Fremont
(510) 795-9551

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