Can EVERYBODY be beautiful?

MARIKA ROBERT July 29 1961

Can EVERYBODY be beautiful?

MARIKA ROBERT July 29 1961

Can EVERYBODY be beautiful?

Paul Pogue thought so, and did several things about it: a lavish health club for men, then one just like it for women, and now a chain-store line of beauty parlors. A pretty woman tells what he’s learned about beauty, from the skin down

BY MARIKA ROBERT

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a beautiful young man who wanted to make other people beautiful, too. His name was Paul Pogue. He had blue eyes and dark hair and gleaming white teeth. But the most beautiful thing about him was his radiant health. He worked very hard to be healthy because he believed that, though health wasn't everything, without health life was nothing.

Paul Pogue's father was a United Church minister. He was big and jovial and Irish. He believed that exercise was as important for the body as religion was for the soul. He surrounded his eight children with Hying rings, high bars and trapezes from which they occasionally fell — breaking wrists, ribs and other parts to the great distress of their mother. All the same it taught them to appreciate Health

Paul Pogue also learned another thing from his father: “Help people!"

So he decided to make it his business to help people become healthy and beautiful.

“Where should I start?" Paul Pogue wondered, walking the streets of Toronto. Then his gaze was caught by scores of tense and tired businessmen carrying the burdens of responsibility on their bowed backs.

“Oh, if they would only exercise a little!" thought Paul Pogue. “If they would onl> take some time to relax in a steambath and perhaps have themselves rubbed up with salt afterward; if they only had someone who took a personal interest in their health and told them how to develop it. how much better they could look and how much longer they could remain young!”

Now, Paul Pogue had two older brothers. One was Tom, the other one was CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

Gordon. Both were graduates of the YMC A college in Chicago. Tom and Gordon were just as aware of the problems of the weary businessmen as Paul. But they didn’t have enough money to open a health service for them. Then one day kindly Sir Joseph Flavellc, who was very religious (United ( hurch ) anil very rich (Simpson’s), offered to lend them $2,500. The three brothers took the money and started to guide the needy on the road to fitness and beauty.

CAN EVERYBODY BE BEAUTIFUL?

“Why don’t you do something about our wives?” men in his health club asked

Oh, the troubles they had! I here was a depression in Canada. Health-conscious executives were scarce. Rent-paying days were frequent. But suddenly a good fairy appeared. His name was Joseph Atkinson Sr. He owned the Toronto Daily Star.

Joseph Atkinson Sr. had to have an operation. His doctor told him to get strong before it. So Joseph Atkinson Sr. came to The Three Pogues and they made him strong and healthy. Joseph Atkinson Sr. was so happy! He whispered a few magic words into the ears of clever Gregory Clark, a reporter. The very next day thousands of businessmen read things in the Star that made them painfully aware of their unhealthy life and untoned muscles. They flocked to the Pogue brothers to be beautified by health or at least to calm their conscience.

Soon the three brothers repaid the money to kindly Sir Joseph Flavelle. I he wicked bill collectors did not come any more. Tom and Gordon eventually moved away and left Paul Pogue the sole ruler of a growing and prospering Healthy Men’s World.

Not all the men who entered this world became as beautiful and as radiantly healthy as Paul Pogue, but this was not Paul's fault. He did everything he could to help them. He gave them steambaths and massaging tables and gleaming showers and a gymnasium that was a joy to behold. He gave them a punching bag and bicycles and walking machines and pulleys and dozens of other devices to stimulate muscles and increase blood circulation. He gave them a trained stall to plan their Individual Road to Health.

l ike a missionary. Paul Pogue considered it his duty to promote physical activity. He told his Rotary Chib about it. too.

“I would like to start a crusade among schoolchildren to develop the attitude of mind where they would regard it as smart to be fit instead of being smart to drag-race the old man’s car — or some similar stupid pursuit.” said healthy Paul Pogue.

He sent his customers little printed notes. “Man does not just die; he usually kills himself by neglecting his health,” the notes said.

Paul Pogue’s door was open all the time. Behind the door was Paul, surrounded by books entitled It Pays to Be Fit and It’s 1 ater I ban Von 1 hink and How to Live 365 Days a Year, smiling his beautiful healthy smile, always ready to help.

And so the Pogue Health Club grew and grew and grew. More and more businessmen noticed how unhealthy they were. More and more noticed that it had become a very chic thing to belong to this club. Tycoons, moguls, titans and all kinds of other executives came from afar and paid as much as $400 in advance to improve their fitness, looks, and life expectancy. Huge companies would lay out $800 to see four of their top men become healthy, at wholesale rates. Some of the most important Toronto businessmen met in the comfortable lounge of the club admiring the lovely framed horseheads and riders and the generally virile atmosphere. Here they could get delicious fruit salads and other healthy snacks and learn about proper nutrition from booklets that were piled on little tables for their convenience.

Now. not all these people followed the example of Paul Pogue, who would never let a day go by without exercising at least an hour and a half in the gymnasium. Even when he broke his leg curling. Paul still managed to squeeze some exercise into his daily routine, cast or no cast. Most executives weren’t so ambitious. Some preferred just to lie around in the lovely green steamroom and have someone else work with their muscles. Some preferred six Martinis to one tomato juice. But if they didn’t become as healthy and beautiful as Paul Pogue they had only themselves to blame. They didn’t care anyway. They liked Paul Pogue. Some of them felt he should extend his services.

"Paul.” they would say, “why don’t you do something about the beauty of our wives, too?”

"Why indeed?” thought Paul Pogue, who had been thinking that very thing for some time, and he decided he would. He sat down at his drafting board and his many books — for he always liked to make all plans himself — and one nice summer day he opened the most beautiful health salon for women. It was called the Ladies’ Health Service. “A newMecca for weary workers.” said the loyal, generous Toronto Star.

The Health Service was a wonderful place for office girls who had to sit all day, or flabby young mothers, or housewives who did not exercise the right muscles. Here they could use the ballet bar, and the exercise mats, and the pulley lings. They could ride the bicycle that didn’t go anywhere or walk miles on the walking machine and they could still watch television. They could get a nice pedicure, or a facial, or a mud pack, or a wax treatment sitting in vibrating chairs. There was gentle steam to relax them and whirling water to massage their bodies. Four masseuses, an exercise girl, and a physiotherapist looked after their needs. There was also a trained ballet instructress to teach them poise. Later, thoughtful Paul Pogue wanted to employ an interpretative dancer, too.

The prices were not very high. A girl could come twenty-five times to have exercise, steam and ultra-violet rays and she had to pay only $50 for it. The salon was so big that two hundred ladies could come the same day.

But the ladies didn’t come.

In the beginning there was a great interest in the Health Service. The beautiful appointment book was always black with names. Extra help had to be hired in the evenings because so many ladies phoned and said they wanted to come. But the trouble was that they only wanted to. T hey didn’t really come. A few drops of rain, a little fatigue, or a phone call from a girl friend changed their mind at the last minute. And so the steam cabinets remained cold and the exercise mats were empty. The vibrating chairs waited in vain for their daily ration of hips. The pedals of the bicycle stood still. Poor Paul Pogue!

What a great mistake it was to expect the ladies to work for their beauty! If only Paul Pogue promised them machines that could make them lose weight without any effort. Then his books might have looked different. But this would have been a lie and Paul Pogue was very honest. He despised lies. He knew that such machines did not exist and that the only way to lose weight was by eating less. He liked machines because they Firmed Tissues, but he did not believe in miracles. All he could promise the ladies was that they would be still young at sixty if they exercised regularly until then. But this was such a long-range promise that the ladies didn’t think it worth while to go out into the rain for taking care of all the details.

Now, Paul Pogue was a very thorough person. He never did anything without taking care of all the details, even the smallest ones.

“Steam and exercise will mess up the girls’ hair.” he had told himself when he planned the health studio. “I must install a tiny hairdressing salon where the damage can be repaired.” And he did. and called it the Lisa Salon. But he never dreamed that this w'ould save him from bankruptcy. He couldn’t help noticing. though, that while the health salon was losing money the hairdressing part was booming.

The same ladies who were too tired to come to the health studio and leave it refreshed were never too tired to come to the hairdresser, even though they knew that they would be ten times as tired when they left. Rain, snow or hail could not stop them from having their hair set. They knew, of course, that the health studio could make them more beautiful in the long run, but they wanted to become beautiful right away.

Clever Paul Pogue soon realized that most women did not mind if the beauty they bought w;as only skin deep and did not last. All they wanted was fast results. He could not change the psychology of w'omen so he had to change the nature of his business.

“If it is this kind of beauty they want, they should have the best,” said Paul Pogue, and quick as a wink turned the Health Service into a hairdressing school.

Then he went back to his books. He read all about the management and operation of beauty parlors and when he finished he knew that he could do so much more in the skin-deep beauty business than in the beauty-through-health one. This made Paul Pogue very sad because he still believed that there could be no real beauty without health. But what could he do? He had to give his customers what they wanted. Paul Pogue tried to console himself with the thought that, anyway, beauty was a step to health.

The following months Paul Pogue spent designing layouts and drawing graphs. (The graphs were about money.) He planned the ideal beauty parlor. "If the ladies like this Paul Pogue Beauty Salon.” he said to himself, “then I will open many more Paul Pogue Beauty Salons. First I will open salons in Toronto; then 1 will open salons all over Canada. I will have a chain of salons. I will centralize the bookkeeping and the advertising and the maintenance and the teaching. I will save a lot of money.”

“Paul is planning to put Beauty on a supermarket basis,” said Paul Pogue's friends, and they all wished him luck. Everybody liked kind, fair Paul Pogue. Only the salesmen of hairdressing supplies did not like him. Fie said he could buy for twenty-seven cents the same product that sold for $2.35. He wanted to cut out the middlemen because he thought they made too much money. Not many middlemen liked that. But Paul Pogue did not care. He only worried about the ladies who would come to his salon to be beautified. He wanted to make them happy. He knew that service was not enough to keep the ladies happy. Women did not come to a hairdresser only to have their hair done. They came to sit and smoke and telephone and stare at the walls and go to the washroom and read magazines. Why, some women chose their beauty parlor by the shape of its chairs.

Paul Pogue knew of course that no

woman in a green dress could feel happy on a blue chair. So he decided to make the chairs neutral beige or gold. He decided to put phone plugs in these chairs so the ladies could talk to their girl friends while sitting under the drier. Oh. he had so many problems! Women were hacoming more sophisticated by the day. He had to give them really beautiful surroundings to please them.

But Paul Pogue knew that decor was not enough, l ocation was important, too. Paul Pogue studied location. He knew that a beauty salon couldn’t be squeezed between a shoe repair shop and a hardware store. It was better to have it flanked by a dress shop and a flower shop (never a fruit vendor). Fven the side of the street was important because there are good sides and bad sides. And the lighting of the street had to be considered, too. A well-lit street was better than a dark one, of course, but if the lights of the neighboring stores were garish they could spoil the whole effect. Paul Pogue had to think of everything. And he did.

When the new Paul Pogue Salon opened in the Don Mills Plaza the ladies raved about it. It did not make them more beautiful than other beauty parlors, but they were so happy there. They loved the elegant antique chairs and the marbletopped tables and the crystal chandeliers. They loved all those nice mirrors and the plaster heads of angels that supported the mirrors. Oh, it w'as a smart salon! It was so smart that a few housewives did not dare enter it. The expensive decor with all the gold scared them. Poor housewives! They weren’t sophisticated enough.

Now. Paul Pogue wanted everybody to be happy in his salon. That’s why he decided to make his staff happy, too. He was very kind to them. And he decided to lift their Status. He told them never to take a tip because that would make them servants. I he customers could always give them a present for Christmas if they w'anted to show their gratitude. That was much nicer, although some of the staff didn’t think so. They preferred a tip once a week to a handkerchief once a year.

But most of Paul Pogue’s employees were happy anyway. They liked the sophisticated atmosphere and the soft music and they liked the money they made. They made more than a hundred dollars a w'eek and some made more than tw'o hundred. They did not get a salary but rather a percentage with a guaranteed minimum. They could do a lot of work because thoughtful Paul Pogue saved (hem steps and effort. He designed all the cabinets and the drawers and the washbasins in a very practical way.

But deep down Paul Pogue knew that designing beautiful closets and making the ladies sit on beautiful upholsteries w'as not what he had wanted to do in the beginning. He tried to smuggle at least two steam cabinets and massage tables and a very good masseuse into the bascment of the salon. But these were not very popular.

So Paul Pogue had to be content with the hairdressing salon. And he w'as. He was so happy that he opened another one in the Royal York Hotel. This one was even more beautiful. Then he started to work on a third in another shopping centre and he began to plan several others. He did not give up Health completely. One day he wanted to open a health service for transient businessmen. But he knew that his real career lay in Beauty, in a nice chain of Paul Pogue Salons. He was very grateful to the ladies because they liked the Paul Pogue Salons so much. He only wished he could do more for them. And secretly he was always hoping that the day would come when the ladies would allow him to give them more beautiful bodies as well as more beautiful shampoo basins. Wistful Paul Pogue! Some day, perhaps, the ladies will, and then Paul Pogue will live happily ever after, if