FT Worth hairstylist takes a walk on the Wild Side with Toast and Jam

Toast and Jam

Elaine Turnbow and Jeff Prince take a walk on the wild side.

It took true Texas grit, a transgender woman, ingenuity, a pandemic, and a slice of toast and jam to take this walk on the Wild side.

Dallas Observer’s Karen Gavis recently wrote about the down-home style of music-Journalism that Jeff Prince creator of Toast and Jam took part in.

Serendipity led us to learn about it.

“Jeff Prince, who helped create more than 100 episodes of the local music show before getting laid off at the Fort Worth Weekly, describes his nearly 20 years at the alternative weekly newspaper as his greatest writing experience,” wrote Gavis.

Price described what led him to Toast and Jam “We were more interested in just looking for the bad stuff,” he says of the publication. “If it’s the police, you only write about them when they’ve screwed up and they’ve shot somebody or something.”

Tired of the clickbait gotcha moment we journalists rely on for our bread and butter Prince pitched an alternative to his editors, Toast and Jam. He soon got the go-ahead but finding interesting, willing people to interview was another thing.

“[ ]… my friend Joe Savage asked what criteria I use to select guests for Toast & Jam. “I want interesting folks of all types, races, creeds, ages, persuasions, genders, and everything in between,” I said, adding that I had contacted Fort Worth Transgender, a local support group, and asked the director if any trans members would be interested in appearing on the show. Nobody volunteered,” Prince wrote at the Fort Worth Weekly.

“Savage suggested I call local hairstylist Elaine Turnbow, who has been cutting hair at the Collective Salon on South Jennings Avenue for three years. The 29-year-old Elaine grew up in Weatherford, enlisted in the military, learned how to cut hair in the service, played drums in a punk band in Denton, and transitioned. She moved to Fort Worth several years ago to establish a career in hair styling. We discuss Elaine’s passion for coiffure, and she bravely tackles my graying, balding old topknot. Thanks for the great haircut and for being such a fun guest, Elaine! Your version of Lou Reed’s anthem is completely unique and wholly wonderful.”

“The show introduced me to many people that I didn’t know but have remained friends with,” Prince said in an email to the Dallas Observer. “For instance, Elaine Turnbow is a transgender woman who cuts hair in Fort Worth. She cut my hair on the show for an episode, and then we sang ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side’ by Lou Reed. Elaine did such a good job cutting my hair and is such a fun person, she is now my regular barber.”

Whenever someone watched the show, Prince says they’d typically describe Toast and Jam as “a little slice of Zen,” wrote Gavis.

Elaine said that she’s now at Acute Salon in Fort Worth where they “cut through the shaggy overgrowth of gendered salon atmospheres” and that he continues to honor her by allowing her to cut his hair.

Thank you, Elaine Turnbow, Jeff Prince of Toast and Jam,  the Fort Worth Weekly, Karen Gavis at the Dallas Observer. and of course a heaping helping of fortuitous serendipity.

Fort Worth is my home. Thank you all for reminding me why.

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