Uncle Hark and Aunt Hazel

June 14, 2017

Something about a dear great aunt and uncle.  And an old car.


We had a great aunt and uncle who lived a few miles from us in Bolivar.  Uncle Hark (Harvel) and Aunt Hazel Martin.  Hark was Muh’s brother and Hazel his wife.  They had a son but he died from leukemia and in many ways they never got over that loss since he was their only child.  Regardless of that tragedy they were always special to us.  Not just because they were kind and loving to us but also for a possession of theirs that also was special.  And what was that unique and wonderful thing Jeff?  A Model A Ford that Hark had restored.

By trade Hazel, like most women then, was a housewife and Hark was a car mechanic and worked in Denton at Beck’s Garage near our old house on east Congress Street near downtown.  Of course Dad and Mom took our cars there for repairs but we went and saw him there too when we were out and about.  I can remember his big smile as he would come up to us in his oil stained overalls inside the garage.  Nowadays no one wants you in the garage due to OHSA’s zealous pursuit of safety.  But not then, we would just go in like the cars.

Due to his trade, Hark had bought and apparently restored an old Ford Model A.  And that is the ultimate reason for this Note.  Sometimes on Saturdays he and Hazel would jump in it and drive to our house in Ranch Estates which was about ten miles south of their house in Bolivar.  I do not know if he came down I-35 or drove the farm roads down through Krum but come he did with the Model A’s motor running loud and fine.

When they arrived my sister and I would pile in it and we would go for a ride.  To us it was almost like riding a carnival ride, the experience was something wondrous and fun that we always looked forward to and loved just as much as we loved him and Aunt Hazel too. But after we grew up we did not see them as much and they grew old and the cars of our own lives went down different roads.

Over time cars wear out, run no more, go to the junk yard to be disassembled, and are largely forgotten. All while the shiny new model takes you for a ride.  And like an old car Hark and Hazel passed on too, and were buried.  And someone I do not know got his old Model A and like them it too is forever gone.  But unlike some non-descript, mass-produced new car Hark and Hazel live on forever young and gleaming in the familial car showroom of my mind and drive strongly still like that old Model A once did.