Miche Stich, the tireless hairdresser from Schoten. — © JAA
Wednesdays and Thursdays are clearly on the agenda of the ladies who stay in the Verbert-Verrijp residential care center. Then Miche Stich (80), a contemporary but still active as an independent hairdresser, comes to take care of their hair. “As long as my fingers remain flexible, I will continue cutting,” says the well-known Schoten resident.
There was a big party last weekend in the garden of son Danny Molenberghs. Friend Luc Caals came to sing as a surprise and he also had Sam Verhoeven and Daisy Thys from the Fakkeltheater in Antwerp. That is one of the many places where Miche likes to go and is happy to be seen. The cava and Hasselt coffee, favorite drinks of this popular woman known throughout Schoten, flowed freely.
“My actual birthday was on Thursday and I just worked, as I have done since I was eighteen. Although I did treat my customers and myself,” Miche laughs. Her own mother supported Miche at the time to learn the profession of hairdresser.
“That did not work at the urban school in Cadixstraat. I learned the trade at private schools. Not cheap, but luckily mom was willing to pay for it. This is how I was able to start as a hairdresser at the age of eighteen in the Zandstappenstraat in Schoten, where my husband Gerry and I lived at the time. Later I had my little salon in the Hagenlei. Those were wonderful times.”
Miche is at his post in Verbert-Verrijder twice a week to take care of the residents. — © JAA
Some residents of what was then the OCMW rest home Zonnehof in Koningshof regularly came to Miche for a haircut. “When moving became difficult, the question arose whether I wanted to come to the rest home myself with my ‘stuff’. The late OCMW councilor Fred Jacobs arranged that at the time,” Miche remembers.
“In 1988 I came ‘home’ for the first time. It never stopped. In the large Verbert-Verrydt residential care center they have set up a real salon for me with sinks, hairdryers and so on. When I retired twenty years ago, it did not mean the end of my career as a hairdresser. I have always continued to do so by popular request. Older ladies also want to look good and they are right.”
Josephine (95) nods. She visits Miche every fortnight for a ‘water wave’ and is always pleased with the beautiful curls that allow her to ‘among people’ again afterwards. “The chat in between is also fun,” says Josephine.
Miche continues to work hard to the sounds of Radio 2. Its many water waves almost cause a tsunami in Verbert-Verrydt. After Josephine, Rosalie (93), Godelieve (88) and Simonneke follow in the short time we spend with her. “I don’t ask for much: 15 euros for a haircut, 20 euros for a water wave and 62 euros for a ‘perm’. Still, everyone leaves satisfied. This still keeps me busy two days a week. The desire is still there and the fingers are also doing well for the time being. Rest rust, surely?”
“I wouldn’t want more days with a comb and scissors in hand. When should I go to my friends in café De Salamander, De Foyer of De Kaekelaar and all those other nice places?” (laughs).
Miche with Godelieve. — © JAA
Miche met Simonneke. — © JAA
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