Above: A group of Southeast Missouri State University students played hackeysack Saturday at the.
Right: Chris Cahill, frontman for the band Aaron in Stereo performed with his group at the Earth Day celebrationBy Andrea L. Buchanan ~ Southeast Missourian
They arrived in gleaming pickup trucks, sports cars and borrowed sedans; they stepped carefully onto the sidewalk in their polished shoes and into a moment of personal history.
Enveloped in tulle and taffeta, sequins and satin, girls walked arm in arm with beaus clad in tails, ties and cummerbunds.
For many high school students across Southeast Missouri, prom night was the culmination of years of dreaming, months of saving, shopping and planning.
And Saturday involved endless hours of primping.
There was barely walking room Saturday at Naray's House of Style on North Main Street as girls lined up to be groomed for prom night.
Owner Naray Moore started at 6 a.m. and finished after 7 p.m., curling, combing and teasing his way through students from Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Mo., and Charleston, Mo.
Kenythia Williams and Gina Johnson, both 15 years old and students at Charleston High School, were two of his clients.
Wearing T-shirts and blue jeans the girls would be transformed into grown-up visions of class and grace before the day was over.
It was William's first prom, and she planned to wear powder blue. Johnson would be decked out in black and baby blue. Both were getting ready for a night of dinner and dancing with special boys.
Across town at JCPenney's Salon, Amanda McCormick, 16, had her updo firmly sprayed in place before heading home to put on her dress for the Jackson prom.
Next to her, Amber Windisch, 18, was preparing for her senior prom for Central High School.
The girl on her other side was in panic mode, asking for her carefully tousled curls to be repaired at the last minute.
They were two of nearly 90 students from across Southeast Missouri who passed through the salon Saturday in preparation for prom night, said stylist Lani Carr.
Tanning beds in Cape Girardeau and Jackson have been busy for weeks as girls prepare for strapless and midriff-baring dresses. Fingernails and toenails were shaped, buffed and polished.
Tuxedos were fitted and accessorized with the occasional pair of sneakers or backwards ball cap.
And it all led up to one moment:
Squinting through the darkened Arena Building in Cape Girardeau or the Jackson High School gymnasium, they gathered in awkward clusters, waiting to see who would brave the dance floor first.
335-6611, extension 160