Hazel – at right – is the one that got away. Of all our girlfriends from Old West Point High School, she ventured off farther than the rest of us had the nerve or moxie to do successfully. We renamed her Hazel in third grade.
Actually, sometime in 1963, she took to calling me Gene and I called her Autry. That’s how “country” we were. We roomed together in college and what a year that was!
Hazel lived for 20 years in Big Piney, Wyoming, where the winter temperatures fall to 20 below too many times to remember. She also drove an hour to work each way in the snow and sleet to get to her job at Exxon/Mobil. We’re pretty sure she ran the company during its most successful years.
One day, Hazel had enough and decided to retire and move to a place where she could play golf more than four times a year.
Enter John, her adorable husband, who she met on the golf course one day. What a find! We decided we’ll all take up golf and go off in search of our own version of Dr. John.
Hazel and John are touring the southeast to reconnect with old friends. They’ll be in Memphis on Thursday to meet up with Heard, George Abbott and Tinker. We’re all relieved they will be moving back to Mississippi before our 45th class reunion. And not a moment too soon. She has lost her southern accent to the point we could hardly understand her.
Hazel is one Clay County girl I bet we can move back to the redneck category in no time flat! Welcome home Hazel. Glad to have you back in the country.