OAKHURST – What does an experienced hairdresser have in common with an ambassador for Yosemite National Park? More than you might think; just ask Donna Dozier.
Donna spent more than three decades behind a chair as a popular hairdresser, then decided it was time to cross a few key items off her “bucket list.”
“I had done hair for 32 years,” explained Dozier. “It was only job I’d ever had!”
Working inside Yosemite National Park (YNP) was always a dream for Donna, she said, so the enthusiastic applicant put in for a job as Park Ranger at the Park’s south entrance, greeting visitors from across the world in the way that, seemingly, only Donna can do.
The Park Ranger idea didn’t come totally out of the blue. Donna has been married to Dennis Dozier for nearly 20 years. He works for the National Park Service and is a packer at the Tuolumne Stables in summertime. Donna says she got the job by applying online, and it helped that she knew some people when she started there in 2011.
“I didn’t carry a gun,” laughed Donna, “all I did was take money as the first uniformed person that visitors meet when they get to the gate of any National Park. The job is called Visitor Use Assistant, also known as the concierge position.”
Highlights of her days spent at the south gate of YNP include at least two times when Hollywood came to call. Once, Donna was caused to exclaim, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” when iconic Brady Bunch actress Maureen McCormick drove up to Donna’s kiosk. Another special occasion was the arrival of Larry David, the actor responsible for much of the Seinfeld comedy television series and, later, star of his own program, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Donna worked in the Park for almost four years, and once she put a line through that goal, the colorful concierge found herself still in demand, so she did a stint at The Redwoods in Yosemite. Testing her skills at a desk job, Donna wasn’t sure she was up to the task, but she actually made it though with flying colors.
Both jobs have led her to wonderful people, giving Donna great experiences, she said. Now, she is back to her original passion: hair styling. With this, she can also continue her passion for helping others.
Donna reports that the American Cancer Society is bringing back the Look Good Feel Better program in Oakhurst, designed for women who are receiving chemotherapy.
She also intends to reinstitute Donna’s Welcome Back Program, by helping people to “gracefully go through the trauma of cancer-related hair loss and wig fittings.” Meanwhile, Donna is also one of the Helping One Woman (HOW) Oakhurst leaders.
Another factor that led to Donna’s decision to return to town is to take care of her mother, Jeeny Feldman. Donna’s own daughter, Bailey Cuzner, 27, has just started her own business in Newport Beach, giving Donna the opportunity to focus all her nurturing back on the woman who raised her.
Donna has reported her excitement at joining the ladies at The Parlour Hair and Nail Boutique, located behind Pete’s Place in Oakhurst. She knows that her friends and clients are scattered around the foothills and may have found the perfect stylist in her absence. That’s okay. She has a plan for that, as well, and intends to show her appreciation while she’s rebuilding her clientele through a referral program: anyone who refers a client will be given a gift card to someplace special for their trouble.
“Regardless of if you need a cut, color, style, or just want to chat, please stop by and say hello!”