Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: Ruth Regina Wigs to close after 65 years

After 65 years in business — the last 35 years at 1050 Kane Concourse in Bay Harbor Islands — Ruth Regina Wigs will close at the end of July.

“I never would have closed my business. I love it too much. Besides my husbands and family, it’s my biggest pleasure in life,” says owner Ruth Regina.

But close she will, says the renowned eighth-generation wig maker.

Regina says she received notification Feb. 19 from her landlord to vacate because plans are underway to open another business there, possibly a liquor store. She admits her lease arrangement was “based on a handshake,” made with the previous landlord decades ago.

“I was devastated, in awe when I heard,” recalls Regina, a resident of North Miami for more than 20 years.

When asked her age, Regina replies wryly “Betty White is 87. I’m older than Betty White.”

But ever the optimist, Regina says she feels the best is yet to come. She mentions a potential book deal, a patent for a product which Vogue dubbed “The Wig That Isn’t” plus two pending patents to which she owns the rights. “I’m not really retiring. I’m a designer and a creator. I can’t stop my mind.”

For now, Regina will liquidate her expansive inventory by offering discounts of 50 percent or more through the end of the month. She is working with local nonprofits to provide wigs and hairpieces to women in need at no charge.

As she looks around her shop filled with hundreds of photographs, articles and awards, she says the memorabilia reminds her of her dealings with famous people over the decades, including working with the Beatles during their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show (at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach) and serving as make-up director for The Jackie Gleason Show, Arthur Godfrey Show and Miss Universe Pageant. She has worked with Walter Cronkite, Jennifer Lopez and multiple U.S. presidents.

“Wow, if walls could talk,” she says wistfully.

Until the shop closes, Regina says she plans to work daily (as usual), from 11 am to 5 pm. To schedule an appointment, call 305-866-1226.

A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY MILESTONE

Miami Beach resident Judge Beth Bloom had an amazing 52nd birthday.

“It was the best birthday gift ever,” says Bloom of June 24, the date the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 to confirm her nomination for a federal judgeship.

“For the first time, ever, I think our son Jacob, 18, was impressed,” said Bloom. She and her husband, Lyle Stern, and the couple’s three children traveled to Washington for the Senate judiciary hearing prior to the confirmation. “Jacob had the opportunity to meet the senators so it was exciting. All of the kids had a great civics lesson.”

Bloom later had an informal swearing in by U.S. Chief Judge Michael Moore at the U.S. District Court in Miami so that she could officially begin her duties. She will be based at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, where she will preside over federal cases, both criminal and civil.

“I’m honored and privileged to have the President’s nomination and the Senate’s confirmation and am looking forward to my service ahead,” Bloom said. “I have three trials set for Monday; there’s no rest for the weary.”

Bloom attended Broward Community College and the University of Florida before earning her law degree at the University of Miami. She began her judicial career as a traffic magistrate in 1992, was appointed to county court in 1995 and circuit court in 2010. She fills the seat vacated in December by U.S. District Judge Donald Graham.

As for her family, “they still treat me mostly the same.” For her birthday, however, Bloom’s two sons did get her a huge cake decorated with a U.S. District Court emblem.

FEMALE PILOTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Amelia Earhart has been in the news recently — both the pilot who disappeared June 1, 1937, and the aviator’s contemporary namesake, Amelia Rose Earhart, who hopes to become the youngest woman to fly a single-engine airplane around the world.

Miami Beach resident Tamra Sheffman can relate to both.

Sheffman recently returned from the All Women’s Air Race Classic, an annual transcontinental pilot air derby. This year’s 2,691-mile race began in Concord, California, and finished in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, (near Hershey).

Sheffman, 66, and co-pilot Myra Bugbee, 62, flew a Cessna 182 (four-seat single engine airplane) from Opa-locka on June 8, competing with 48 other planes. Unfortunately due to ice and snow (yes, in June) in Elko, Nevada, Sheffman and Bugee were among 15 teams held up.

“We were supposed to arrive June 19 at 5 p.m. We arrived June 20 at 6 p.m., 25 hours late,” said Sheffman. “We’re just two senior ladies flying across the country, she explains, “but we inspire women of all ages to fulfill their dreams whether or not it includes aviation.”

As Amelia Earhart once said: “Adventure is worthwhile in itself."

For details, visit www.clouddancers.us.

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