10 May 1948 – 14 September 1998
Date: Sun, 04 Oct 1998 10:51:55 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Hazel memories Dear Bob, Josh and Zoë:
Here’s Marica’s and my first cut at assembling memories of Hazel. Marica’s came out in essay form, mine is more like a collage of images. I tried for a while to merge and blend them, but our memories are a lot truer in their raw form.
The first words that come to my mind are, natural aristocrat. Aristocrat in generosity, poise. Natural, literally plus also light-hearted, and amazingly open-minded. I have never heard anyone else so often exclaim, "Why, that’s right, I’d never thought of that" so often, usually to offhand observations. Certainly flattering and usually right-on.
And how about some specifics:
Allergic to mango skins but enjoyed the insides.
Hosted my first dinner as an academic, back when I still lived at AGSM executive residential quarters.
Upbeat, patient and fun right through both pregnancies, not to mention building an entirely new home near a working container terminal. She was a concerned but light-handed handler of Josh and Zoë, and my biggest memories of this come from when Josh was young. Big curly hair and a nappy, otherwise buck-naked and running around a park surrounded by fancy real estate. I don’t remember the name of the place but it was where Phil Yetton used to own a house. I don’t know how often they got to see sights like that.
Swimming in murky harbor water at Dawn Fraser pool. "The Highest-Slung Ass in Town" She remembered that someone else said that about her, wish I could remember who it was!
Walk all along the Balmain foreshore, finish in a complete downpour but still manage to stop at the bottle shop. Josh ends up wearing all my clothes plus my glasses.
Walking on a rough track outside Dargan. Had to go there because Charlie not allowed in national park. Kids and dog burrow through vicious brush, Hazel in her hat keeps up throughout and only after it is over do we realise how much exertion that was. Doubtless she was aware of it throughout but never let on to the rest of us.
I’m 33 years old now and have known Hazel for 8 years. We got to know each other better in the last 4 years. There were many years’ difference between us as we shared a love for art and food. I know she found me inspiring and interesting. She came to watch me work making sculptures of resin, painting pictures on canvas and even saw some of my window-dressing jobs in town. Over the course of a year I watched her take oil-painting classes and admired her talent. I love Hazel, I love her name, I love her light happy spirit and I love her inquisitive mind. She was a delightful person to be around. I always thought Bob and the kids were SO lucky to have her. Simple things in life excited Hazel, from watching the kids scream and run through the house in joy, to making a simple Italian dish from a cook book. Food, one of Hazel’s favorites, well - at least my favorite passtime with Hazel!). I struggle to put down on paper how I felt with Hazel. I felt comfortable and wonderful in her presence. Simplicity and space surrounded Hazel. Ample space for absorbing new experiences that, day in day out, life had to offer.
We built a pair of Tuscany-style brick planters. We both drove out to the demolition brickyard and hand-selected the bricks. They were all over a hundred years old, clay-based, covered in moss, smoothed and rounded from time. She paid a dollar per brick. Hazel found the picture of this courtyard in a book she borrowed from the library. The garden setting was serene, peaceful and had a small wall-hung waterfall. We planned the size, she researched the cement mixture, and got the tools ready and away we went. She liked to sit at the kitchen table and watch me work through the French doors. Drinking tea from a yellow teapot she picked up at some fancy store in Kensington. It was the perfect teapot, had a well shaped nose and a big rounded body. The color represented her enthusiasm. Latter we took a trip to a large nursery and Hazel picked out the plants for her new planters. Charlie (my dog) came with us on this trip; to our dismay he had to be tied up outside while we wondered around the nursery and later had lunch and tea in the garden setting cafeteria. It was a typical hot Sydney day, after lunch we drove to Josh and Zoë’s school to pick them up. Zoë as usual exhibited the same zest for life as her mother. Josh was showing a bit more seriousness, appropriate for his advanced age. Of course, in a few minutes everything was up in an amusing ruckus; Charlie ran upstairs and grabbed some stuffed toys which we had to take back, and Josh and Zoë wanted to show me everything at the same time.
Wonderful stuff. Keep it up, you three!
Love, GG and MG
Gerald T. Garvey Finance Division Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration University of British Columbia Vancouver BC Canada V6T 1Z2
Gerry and Marica were friends of Hazel’s and mine.