Longtime hairdresser makes adjustments, urges others to cut back

Marian Heath, a 65-year-old hairdresser, has some practical advice for getting by when the bills pile up and cash is hard to come by: Don't let it get you down.

"People made it a long time ago. They didn't have cars, they didn't have lights. If they could make it, we can make it," said Heath, who has been styling hair in downtown Macon for nearly half a century.

Heath, who caters to both men and women at the House of Johnson hair shop on Poplar Street, has seen a gradual drop in customers during the years.

"Times are tight," she said, "no doubt about it."

On a recent morning, Heath, in a black hat and a smock, slicked down a customer's hair, tucked it under a plastic cap to set and then held forth on everything from the sluggish economy to personal finance.

"One thing you've got to learn is that you can't spend money like you used to," she said. "You've got to cut back. If you're living in a house and it's real big and your notes are real big and you know that your money's getting sunk, you don't have to let the house go into foreclosure. Sell it to somebody that can afford the house. ... Or, you might have to let it go into foreclosure and get you a little house. ... And gas is expensive so you can't be riding everywhere like you used to. You don't go riding all over town being nosy, checking this out and checking that out. Use your common sense."

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