Sister Hazel died April 17. Now our family of five is down to two, me and youngest brother Art of Prescott, Arizona, age 80. You can find Hazel’s obit with photos at http://carlsonlillemoen.com/tribute/details/820/Hazel_Schwartz/obituary.html.
The obit fails to mention that Hazel spent half her life fighting MS, the last 40 years mostly in a wheelchair. Her pastor-husband David Schwartz died in 2006.
Born14 months before me, Hazel brought trouble to my childhood. She was better looking, smarter in school, more popular, a better skater, and really, really mean. The least little offense to her person would bring howls of protest followed by wrath from misunderstanding parents. I knew she howled for that purpose. Hazel improved later on and we laughed through the years over my mean big sister.
I regret health glitches will keep me from her April 20 memorial service in Cambridge, Minnesota. Valley Fever, the culprit; a spore-borne fungal illness found mainly in Southern Arizona and Northern California. My good doctors keep working on it.
Hazel’s death launched a memory trip. I remember our first home in in Duluth’s Riverside community, and the streetcar ride when Hazel and I saw our first black man. We tried not to stare. I remember the inappropriate name we gave his hillside home (the home is still there).
I remember a cold night Father’s cousin came with a small calf in his car. I remember the pen of table leaves, chairs, and newspapers that confined the calf in our dining room. Mother was unhappy.
I remember the day just before I turned four when our parents left for some mysterious reason. I remember the long ride in an aunt’s car (first car ride of memory) to Duluth’s Lakeside community. There Hazel and I spent our school days and turned Methodist for nine good years. How I remember those years!
Hang in there Hazel. I’ll be with you before long in the land where neither Methodist or Baptist counts for diddley and where there is no mean.
Old Grandpa Lloyd