Nail technicians are a surprisingly resourceful crew. We found this out as the deadline to enter the 1997 Salon of the Year Awards. Awards approached and the calls and letters started coining. Here is what the judges heard from their eager contestants:

Denise and Darrell Malone, owners of heaven and earth salon in Plantation, Fla., were interrupted by a very welcome delay while mailing their entry packet— the birth of their first child, Darrell Kenvatta Malone, .Jr.

... A call of panic preceded the arrival of an overnight package containing the finishing touches for Nail Express owners, Tracy and Louise Johnson, and Nail Technician of the Year candidate, Kimberlie Ann March. Although their entries were mailed early, they discovered at the last minute that several required photos were missing.... Nancy Lawrence, owner of Savoir-Faire in Auburn, Calif., called on the day of the judging, worried that we might not be able to reach her — due to a recent robbery, she was forced to change her telephone number. ...Later that day, Sherry Menasco from The Nail Parlor in Darlington, S.C., said that every time the phone rang in her salon, her heart skipped a beat and she nearly jumped through the ceiling. Throughout the day she told her clients calling for appointments, “You’d better make it quick.”... Then Toni Stenmark, Nail Technician of the Year candidate from Bronze Image in Jacksonville, Fla., called to say, “My husband is so glad that this contest is nearly over. He spent so much time helping me on my packet that it nearly drove him stark, raving mad.”... Tamera Moran, owner of Top 10 Nails & Tanning in Enfield, Conn., called to say her husband was also weary of the contest. “He offered to help me on the computer. Then he discovered the salon information that we needed to retrieve had been accidentally deleted from the hard drive, forcing us to start from scratch. Night after night. I recited while he typed. When the printer broke one week before deadline, it really got ugly — we were up until 1 a.m. all week!”

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