According to all accounts, Hazel Fredricks had just been doing a little shopping (at Dayton’s Department Store in Minneapolis, to be precise) when she saw something rather odd as she walked down Nicollet Avenue one chilly day in early 1970…
A young woman with dark hair tossing her blue knitted beret up in air.
Now Hazel did not know she was being filmed. To make the scene look as real as possible, the film crew attempted to keep the camera somewhat hidden for traffic and pedestrians. So the look on Hazel’s face has been debated for some time.
Was Hazel scowling? Irritated by yet another hippie ruining her shopping by being far too rambunctious and tossing various articles of clothing around?
Was is a look of concern Hazel had? Could she be worried that the young girl, who may be having some sort of fit in the middle of the street, could be run over by the Minneapolis traffic?
Or was it just a quizzical look?
Either way, the brown-haired young woman picked up her beret off the street while Hazel clutched her brown purse and took off home in her fur-collared jacket and rain bonnet thinking (we can assume) nothing more about it.
Of course we know the rest of the story.
A few months later The Mary Tyler Moore Show premiered on CBS and the world would see Hazel (scowling or not) every week for seven years (and in syndication for many more). And poor Hazel would go down in history as the miserable old bag behind the our enthusiastic life-loving sweet-as-pie Mary Richards.
However, I think there is a life lesson to learn from Hazel Frederick. And as Your Humble Blogger is a ‘beret tosser’ from way back, let me tell you something, folks…
There’s always gonna be a Hazel.
There is always going to be someone behind you that thinks you laugh too loud, dress too weird, listen to the wrong music, date the wrong person, weigh too much, weigh too little, shoot you a nasty look when you dance down the cereal aisle of the A&P etc. etc. etc. As they say, haters gonna hate…
And Hazels gonna Hazel.
So, you may ask, what advice does Your Humble Blogger have? What can a person do in a world full of Hazels? Oh hell, that’s simple…
F*** the Hazels and toss that beret!
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom