Betsy in Hawaii during a high-school graduation trip, 1984.
  • Jena Pilling Lawrence
  • Betsy in Hawaii during a high-school graduation trip, 1984.

I met Betsy about eight years ago, when I walked into a hair salon on a whim and she happened to be the next available person. She was so genuine and friendly—telling me stories of her days playing bass in her band Blank Its or her past Bellingham bands, Mystery Date, Foxmange, and A Frequency (she'd moved to Bellingham from Napa before settling in Seattle), and talking about how her husband, Johnny Samra, was a phenomenal cook, and they "just knew" from the second they met (they would celebrate that day, March 18, 2000, as their "love-at-first-sight-iversary; they married in June of 2004). She quickly became my all-the-time hairdresser (who put up with my frequent and tedious hair-color changes), and we discovered mutual friends in local bands like the Coconut Coolouts while bonding over our belief that the Funhouse was pretty much the best venue at which to play and/or see a show. It wasn't long before I considered her my real friend (who still put up with my frequent and tedious hair-color changes).

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In July of 2010, Betsy and Johnny realized their dream of running their own hair salon and record shop and opened Radar Hair and Records in Sodo—the grooviest shop to get your hair done and buy artwork, records, and vintage clothing while bands like the Cramps or the B-52s blasted through the speakers...

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