by Alexis Taylor
Nestled on the small corner of 21st Avenue East and East Madison Street in the heart of Seattle’s Central District, DeCharlene Williams plugged in her beauty shop’s hair dryers for one of the last times in her life.
Her worn hands knew this routine all too well. On a brisk, overcast day in February of 2018, the shop came to life. She flipped on the main lights and placed her business marquee out front. She pulled out every gel, moisturizer, and hot comb alike, as she set up a chair for a box braid appointment she had scheduled for 8:30 a.m.
I was her client that Saturday morning, and what I would later come to find out, one of the last appointments she’d get the chance to do before her untimely passing from cancer in late May of 2018.