- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cartoon mom Marge Simpson, the new-wave rock band The B-52s, and Baltimore’s annual HonFest all wouldn’t exist, or at least would look drastically different, without hairstylist Margaret Vinci Heldt, who passed away on Friday at the age of 98.

Mrs. Heldt was the creator of the beehive hairdo, “a tall, conical woman’s hairstyle” that “became a cultural phenomenon during the 1960s and evolved into a style worn for decades as Hollywood’s starlets walked red carpets,” The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The AP’s obituary said that Mrs. Heldt “won a beauty school scholarship in high school” and went on to open her hair salon on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue in 1950, going on to win the National Coiffure Championship four years later.

The beehive style “is also known as the B-52, for its similarity to the bulbous nose of the B-52 Stratofortress bomber,” according to nostalgia website RetroGalaxy.com. 

That alternative nickname for the hairstyle inspired the founding members of an Athens, Georgia, rock band to name themselves The B-52s, according to the group’s official website.

This year’s HonFest — celebrating “all the charm and goodwill that lies within the hearts of those who live, work, and play in Bawlmer” — kicked off the day after Mrs. Heldt’s passing.

The two-day celebration’s central event is the crowning of “Baltimore’s Best Hon,” a competition in which contestants typically sport beehive hairdos and wear vintage early 1960s attire, all to honor “the warmth and affection bestowed upon our neighbors and visitors alike by the historic working women of Baltimore.”

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