This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Sarah Palin not only annoyed leaders of the Utah Republican Party when she didn't have time for them during her book signing stop in Salt Lake City last week. She also took off from her hotel after arranging for a last-minute hair appointment without paying the hairdresser and leaving her to cover her own valet parking.
But Rhonda Halliday of Images Hair Studio and Day Spa wants to give Palin the benefit of the doubt. She thinks the lack of payment was unintended, and someone on Palin's staff just dropped the ball.
Halliday was called by a friend at 8 a.m. last Wednesday and was told Palin needed her hair done that morning. Halliday had planned to take her 3-year-old to the dentist for her first filling that morning, but arranged for her husband to get off work for that chore.
She was told to meet the group at the Monaco Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City and to just leave her car with valet parking.
After being ushered to a room on the 15th floor and given some instructions (don't talk to Palin unless she talks first) she did Palin's hair while the former Alaska governor chatted with her family.
Then, the Palin party left to get to the book signing at Costco on time.
Halliday was the last one out of the room because she had to put her equipment away, then watched as they all drove off without anyone mentioning payment or a tip, which is common when the hairdresser travels to the client for the appointment.
When the valet attendant got her car, he said that would be $10. She said she was with the Palin party and assumed they would take care of parking. That was news to him, so she had to fork over the $10.
She says her friend has contacted Palin's assistant and was told to send them an invoice.
She did get a book and some nice pictures, though .
Unintended benefits : Sarah Palin might have miffed the Utah Republican Party and left her hairdresser unpaid, but Helen Rappaport, a Utah Democrat, was thrilled with the former Alaska governor's visit to Salt Lake City.
Rappaport stopped at the Salt Lake City Costco to do some shopping, unaware that Palin was scheduled to be there for a book signing.
So Rappaport, after noticing the parking lot full of cars, was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to maneuver her shopping cart through the store with hardly anybody in the aisles. She also got a prescription filled with no wait.
While going through the check-out lane, again with no wait, she told the clerk she forgot to get some grape tomatoes, which she loves, so she would be right back.
That's when the bells went off.
The clerk told her they had no tomatoes that day.
No tomatoes? At Costco?
As she was leaving, she noticed a man with a store manager's name tag and asked him why they had no tomatoes. He informed her the store did have tomatoes, but they were taken off the shelves for a few hours.
It turns out that Palin had been pelted with a tomato at an earlier stop on her book tour and the management at the Costco was determined it wouldn't happen here.
The manager told an employee to go into the storage area and get Rappaport some tomatoes, which he gave her for free.
So, because of Palin, Rappaport not only got to shop with no lines, she got free tomatoes.