By Murray Schneider
On June 8th, Dalere’s Beauty Salon celebrated its 45th year in Glen Park. A valued neighborhood merchant, Glory Dalere is retired now, but her business continues under the experienced eye of her daughter, Marian.
Born in 1935, Glory Dalere emigrated from the Philippines to San Francisco in 1956.
“My idea was to become a midwife,” she said, as family and friends gathered in her salon to honor her nearly five decades on Diamond and Chenery Streets. “My sister had come earlier, in 1948,”
But her husband, whom she wouldn’t meet until she arrived in San Francisco, had preceded both siblings, first leaving the Philippines in 1928 for Hawaii, where he labored on pineapple plantations, and then in 1934 for California.
“When I met Santiago he worked at the Fairmont Hotel,” Glory said. “We were married in 1956 and in 1957 Santos was born.”
Santos was soon followed by David and then Marian, and with three quick births of her own Glory give up any thoughts of midwifery.
“I decided on beauty school instead,” said the Dalere family matriarch.
Expectant mothers may have come out the losers in such a career switch, but well-coiffed neighborhood women certainly ended up the winners.
Glory attended Marinello Beauty School on Powell Street, worked for Collette’s Beauty Parlor on Mission Street for eight years and then in 1968 opened a salon on Diamond Street, eventually moving around the corner to Chenery Street in 1975.
“I worked 16 hours a day,” she said, while Marian Dalere continued shepherding guests to a well-appointed luncheon table. “Santos did his homework while the ladies read under hair dryers.”
These were the Sixties when Lady Bird Johnson was a pin-up for the beehive bouffant, and only a West Point tactician had the savvy to deploy the battalions of women looking for a bit of glamour at the hands of Glory Dalere’s dexterous fingers.
“Women were here for hours and hours,” said Marian. “There was shampooing, roller setting, and two hours under the hair dryer.”
“Then the rollers came off,” she continued in staccato fashion, “the brushing and back combing began and finally styling and coating hair with spray.”
Glory had a diverse clientele: housewives from St. Francis Woods, City meter maids, salesladies from Joseph Magnin, the mother of Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, even St. John’s parish nuns.
It was a veritable assembly line, and when the ladies regained Chenery Street after their marathon sessions at Dalere’s Beauty Salon, Ann-Margaret had stiff competition.
“My mom worked until midnight,” said the younger Dalere. “She hired a security guard so the women who didn’t drive could feel safe while waiting for Muni at the bus stop.”
“My favorite time, though, was the cocktail hour,” continued Marian, who, like her older brothers, did her homework in the shop but also ran errands. “Sitting under the dryers, the ladies would send me to the Glen Park Station for their martinis.”
Truth be told, Marian made other runs, most having less to do with libations and more to do with culinary fare.
“I’d go across the street and bring back crepes from Higher Grounds,” she said. “The ladies loved them.”
Marian attended St. John Ursuline through high school, and in 1985 she joined her mother in the shop.
The two are still going strong 45 years later, Marian styling hair while Glory tends her beloved dogs in the family house only blocks from the beauty parlor.
District Supervisor Scott Wiener made a scheduled appearance while Glory’s guests sampled lumpia and celebratory cake. After chatting with Glory about the old days, the District 8 representative presented her with a framed San Francisco Certificate of Honor.
“Glen Park is such a tight knit community of residents and merchants,” said Wiener. “Glory is a wonderful example of the neighborhood, and I’m proud of her and the work she has done.”
Ric Lopez, president of the Glen Park Merchants Association and owner of Modern Times, echoed Supervisor Wiener.
“Glory is an inspiration to us all, and she underscores how Glen Park is a village,” Lopez said. “It’s not downtown, and Glory’s career exemplifies how small business owners are the back bone of San Francisco.”
It takes a village, and nothing better exemplifies both Wiener and Lopez’s sentiments than what has fast become Glen Park legendary lore, a tale oft retold but bears repeating one more time and maybe again after that.
His lease up a year ago, Rick Malouf, owner of the popular Cheese Boutique next door to Dalare’s, didn’t want to leave Glen Park. Neither did his customers want him to depart, which would be a lose-lose for everyone.
“I was walking down Chenery one afternoon,” said Marian, who experienced an epiphany, something St John girls are prone to. “I thought, why couldn’t we move into a smaller space in our building and make room for Rick?”
“I called mom and she immediately said yes,” continued Marian. “Rick was in need. We could help him. It was a no brainer.”
“When I came to neighborhood twenty years ago,” said Rick Malouf, who, like Glory and Santiago Dalere, immigrated to California, “Glory wanted to be my first customer. All I had was popcorn to sell for a dollar.”
“Glory simply didn’t want me to leave,” Malouf added. “Now Marian and I share a back door and she comes in for a chocolate and leaves a buck.”
Many would say Glory Dalere and her husband, who passed away seven years ago, embroidered themselves into the fabric of the community, worked hard, raised a family at our village crossroads, and added a singular stitch to the work-in-progress American multi-hued quilt.
“My goal was to own a building,” said Glory, whose entrepreneurship allowed her to purchase the shop where Marian continues to style both women and men’s hair, and subsequently allowed her to extend a helping hand to Rick Malouf, her neighbor and her friend.
Marian Dalere wouldn’t disagree with any of this, but puts her own spin on the tale, which surfaces a somewhat less lofty motive.
“If Rick had moved,” she grinned, “where was I going to get my sandwiches?”