Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Hazel and the Bob

Hazel Belle Willis was 16 years old when she wrote the following in her diary:

May 22, 1923:
I'm simply dying to bob my hair! But John [her stepfather] says I can't--Mama says maybe I can.--so there! Oh, yes! the most important thing happened last Sat.,--Marie had her hair bobbed! Lucky child!

A few days later Hazel met my great-uncle, Loren Elliott, who was a year older than she. She wrote about it here:

May 26, 1923:
Well, caro diary, the seniors graduated last night. Flo saw Loren Elliot as she was coming home--and he asked where I live--she told him--so tonight Clifford & Flo--Loren and I went to the show. I don't know him hardly at all--but Flo says he's nice--so I guess she knows--he certainly seems nice, anyway.

Several later entries in Hazel's diary mention that she received letters from Loren, and others mention visits, which leads me to believe they must have lived in neighboring towns that summer. Her comments about Loren were always favorable, but she certainly wasn't swooning over him. In those early days of their acquaintance, Hazel seemed more interested in her friends--and her hair:

June 13, 1923:
Oh honey, 13 is my lucky number!--I had my hair bobbed about an hour ago,--surely am glad--but feel awful silly.

Hazel was a beauty, and Loren must have liked the bob. He stuck around. They were married in 1926, three years after that summer when they first met, and they stayed married for more than 64 years, until Loren's death in 1991.

Hazel herself passed away in 1997. My mother and sister went to Florida for her funeral, and Mother brought back Hazel's diaries and gave them to me. I love to pull out one of those diaries from time to time, to read Hazel's brief commentaries, to see what things she stuck between the pages.

She was beautiful on the inside, too.


In keeping with the content of this post, here's today's Saturday Song Selection:


The song is "Diary" by Bread.
Thanks to cyberman000051 for posting this video on YouTube--and for including the lyrics.

Click the image below
 to see what other bloggers have posted this week
for Sepia Saturday's HAIR theme:


  1. I love this post ... she was beautiful, inside and out. Thanks for sharing this with us; and the music. Bread was one of my very favorite bands.

    Kathy M.

  2. I absolutely adore this story about Hazel and Loren, I'm a romantic at heart and love a good love story - how very fortunate you are to have her diaries! Thanks for Bread's "Diary', one of my favorite oldies and I haven't heard it in a long time - it was perfect with this post.

    ps - I like your profile statement as well!

  3. She looks nice with a bob! Beautiful music as well, thank you.

  4. Awww -- what a neat story. And how cute Hazel must have been worrying about her hair. I guess that's one thing that hasn't changed about teens (oh heck, and grown women too!).

  5. It is interesting to read how significant hair bobs were. At least hair grows back. Now young people want tattoos and piercings.

  6. What a sweet story about Loren & Hazel. Married for 64 years - wow! I'd love to know their tips for a long & happy marriage.

    Great post...It's wonderful that you have the diary to go along with the pictures. Love the song choice too, I've always liked the band, Bread - guess I'm showing my age. :)

  7. oh, you're so lucky having wonderful old letters, diaries and photos!

    She sure is a beauty!

  8. The old diaries and photos are things to treasure. She was an attractive young lady.
    I can never understand why a hairstyle was named after me (or vice versa)!

  9. A lovely story about a beautiful lady. I like how you used the prompt to show us what was important to teenagers then.

  10. Such a wonderful interpretation of this weeks theme on hair. That diary post was just so perfect. A lovely love story, too.

  11. Thanks for your comments, folks. Hazel was my favorite aunt, growing up. I didn't see her often because they lived so far away, but she had a way of making each visit special. She was beautiful, graceful, and as charming and pleasant to us children as she was to the grown-ups around us. I wanted to be grow up to be just like her. Sadly, I failed to rise to that particular challenge.

  12. What a lovely post! I suspect Hazel would like you just the way you are. :-)


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