From Daily Republic // Oct. 3, 2005
By Brad Stanhope
SUISUN CITY - Lori Bush likes getting a manicure for the same reasons as many people.
Well, almost the same reasons.
"I think it relaxes me," Bush says while sitting in a chair at The Gallery. "An hour here is an hour not on the phone. I have good conversation. I'm not driving to work, dealing with suspects and all that."
Yeah. Not dealing with suspects.
Bush, who lives in Suisun City, is an Oakland cop - and a trip to the salon is a nice way to relax away from her job. She does it every other week, always with Kimmy Sheets, the popular manicurist at the shop on the Suisun City waterfront.
"I used to get my hair done here, then I got my nails done," Bush says. "I liked the way they do nails."
That was five years ago. Now she comes every other week for a manicure, once a month for a pedicure. Bush has artificial gel nails and the two-week period is how long it takes her natural nails to grow out, requiring a new application by Sheets.
Bush sits calmly while Sheets works on her nail, pulling off the old, preparing for the new.
"All I'm doing is sitting and talking," Bush says. "Kimmy does the work. I like a nice, clean look. I don't wear polish, I have a pink-and-white look."
Sheets, who was born in South Vietnam, held many jobs in her life. She was a beauty school teacher, a tailor, an accountant. But she kept coming back to doing nails - winding up at The Gallery, which she says she loves.
"I like to have time to talk with people," she says. "I have good interaction with my clients."
Her customers agree. The appointments take an hour and it's time well spent.
"It takes an hour because I like Kimmy," Bush says. "We catch up on our experiences every couple of weeks, and when I leave, (my hands are) a Picasso."
Sheets, having removed much of the old nail, uses a tiny machine to sand as Bush sits and talks. The manicures cost $35 to $40 and pedicures, done less regularly, are $45.
"I like the finished product - the whole result," Bush says. "I leave feeling better. My nails are better, they give me confidence."
That makes it well worthwhile to take a trip every other week to relax away from the police job and enjoy time with her friend and manicurist.
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.