FREDERICK COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — When high school student Virginia Patterson Hensley completed an essay assignment in in January 1948, she wrote about what she thought was necessary to become a successful cosmetologist.

Hensley had success in the music industry, instead, as the legendary Patsy Cline.

Virginia Patterson Hensley (Patsy Cline), seen with classmates. Hensley is second from the left in the second row. (Frederick County Public Schools)

Cline wrote the essay, Vocations for Girls: Cosmetology, while she attended Gore High School. Frederick County Public Schools gave the essay to Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc. on Friday. The group, in part, is responsible for maintaining the Patsy Cline Historic House in Winchester, Va.

The essay had been stored in the Frederick County Public Schools Records Center for
many years.

In it, Cline wrote: “A girl who is interested in beauty shop work should have intelligence, be tactful, pleasant, attractive, self-possessed, sympathetic, physically strong and have a good personality.”

The girl who would go on to become a country music star indicated she may have planned on pursuing a career in cosmetology when she wrote the essay: “I think I could go farther with a job like a Beauty Operator than any other because I can do more with my hands than I can with my head.”

As for the rewards of becoming a cosmetologist, Cline was confident: “I will get the
pleasure of working with others and the money I will receive from it. I will get the pleasure of
having my own shop.”

Interim Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools John Lamanna said, “The essay has been kept in outstanding condition by the school division, but having it in the Records Center didn’t allow many people to see and experience this piece of local history. The school board’s decision to donate the document to Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc. will ensure the document is preserved and available for fans of the country music hall of fame member to enjoy.”

Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc. Board Member Karen Helm said, “Celebrating Patsy Cline,
Inc. is excited and grateful to be entrusted by Frederick County Public Schools with this essay.
Patsy would have turned 90 on September 8 and it is fascinating to read about her dream of
owning a beauty shop in a document she wrote as a 15-year-old girl. Our initial plans for the
essay include taking further steps to preserve it and developing ways in which we can make it
available for Patsy’s fans to see at special events hosted by the organization.”

Patsy Cline was born on September 8, 1932. The member of the Grand Ole Opry became the first female performer to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973.

Cline’s childhood home, located at 608 South Kent St. in Winchester, Va., is a museum that is operated by Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc.