Alison Norman takes a seat up front at Alpine Cut & Esthetics. Standing with her are

Alison Norman takes a seat up front at Alpine Cut & Esthetics. Standing with her are

Our Town: Tuesdays with the girls

This week's Our Town is about a local girl with Down syndrome who works at a local hair salon.

The thing about Alison Norman is that she doesn’t just enter a room, she fills one.

By that we mean that she has an undeniable dramatic presence, her personality more in line with charismatic movie starlets than your typical twenty-something living in a small town.

Alison’s illuminating attitude keeps everyone at Alpine Cut & Esthetics in good spirits, where she works for about an hour each Tuesday.

She’s practically an adopted sister for the crew, where she helps out sweeping the floors and folding the towels.

“I really like this place [Alpine Cut] because all my girls are so kind to me and are always helpful and smart,” said Alison.

Alison started coming to Alpine Cut to get her own hair done, visits which eventually transformed into her part-time job. She spends an hour at the place on Tuesdays in the afternoon.

Alison, who lives with Down syndrome, is now 20 years old, and leads a busy life.

When she’s not working at Alpine Cut, she spends her mornings at High Road Services Society, socializing and sharing food with others who participate in the organization.

She says she’s an avid piano player, and has developed her musical talents since about grade 4.

Also, she spends a lot of time bowling with the local Special Olympics. She refers to herself as a “sometimes” good bowler.

Living with Down syndrome does make her life a little more challenging. She needs someone to take her around town, and she can’t take the same classes at school as many of her fellow students.

But she makes up for that with her snappy sense of humour, regular exercise, and regular trips to the movie theatre on weekends.

A recent highlight for her was a trip to a Down syndrome conference where she met Lauren Potter, an established actor who also has Down syndrome. Potter plays Becky Jackson, who some may know as Sue Sylvester’s niece from the television show Glee.

Alison reports that Potter’s very nice in person.

The employees at Alpine Cut clearly have a great time when Alison is around, and Alison enjoys her time there likewise.