Wednesday, July 19, 2017
SAD BUT HAPPY
Our dear teacher and friend died at age 97 but oh what a life she lived. She was born a Georgia Peach . Then for a few years she lived in Cleveland TN but most of her early life was spent on Sand Mountain Alabama. Her family grew acres and acres of potatoes and strawberries and trucked them as far as Arkansas to get the best price. Being the sixth of seven children, well she just was not interested in farming. As she got older, (girls were not sent to high school in her area) therefore, she went to stay with some family friends in Fayettville, TN where she went to high school and finished at age 22. She met the love of her life, Melvin in Fayettville and she was a waitress and her husband was a cook at the same place but they wanted more out of life. In 1950 they moved to the big city of Nashville. There she went to Watkins Institute and took art under Morgan Steinmetz, a renowned illustrator. Her only child could not say the instructor name so he called him Pops and thereafter when you heard Hazel talk about him he was referred to as Pops.
For five decades , Hazel would be one of Nashville's most honored and celebrated art and ballroom dance teachers. Yes she and Melvin gave ballroom dancing lessons and when Melvin died in 1999, she continued into her eighties with instructor Gary Groves giving lessons in dance. I could list all her achievements but others have done that and all you have to do to read those just google her Hazel Mae Crye King.
To be invited to Hazel and Melvin's parties given at their home was to see a variety of people. Rich, famous, poor, white or color etc etc. They loved people and the more the merrier. Unfortunately, I got to know her some time after her husbands death thus I never went but heard about them. But you never knew who would be there. Bill Dees brought this upcoming artist to one party and and he began to tap out the rymthem of the song on the table and then Roy Orbinson sang his new record for the party goer which was titled "Pretty Woman".
Her favorite saying was "Whenever in doubt use purple." I guess the skies sunsets and sunrises will have more purple in them in the future.
The Kitty Justice is I am sad for those who did not get to know her and Happy I was one of the fortunate ones. RIP Hazel