We all know how terrible Sunday's game was, and thank Pujols it's behind us now. But despite the game, I left the Ted on Sunday feeling pretty good and I wanted to tell you all why. Going to games alone, I meet a lot of people, mostly ushers and security folks. Some actually remember me, like Mr. "Big Man" at the gate near where Marta lets off, and dear Ici, the usher for section 138. But Sunday I met somebody really special...Hazel.
If you're ever going to a game and have to sit in the upper deck, I strongly suggest you sit in 418. That is Hazel's Haven. Sure it's not first base or home plate, but the view is fairly good, there's a breeze, and Hazel will try to make it fun (or at least tolerable if you're just a miserable s.o.b.)! I didn't have seats in her section, but I was at the park early and thought I could get a clear shot of the SportsSouth broadcast booth from there, in case they used it for the Braves Live segment. Not only did she not mind, she let me stay there and she treated me like a loved granddaughter; asking me if I had enough water, urging me to get out of the sun but handing me towels to wipe off the sweat when I wouldn't, giving me a new hair tie, candy, a Braves bumper sticker...I saw her playing games with and giving sweets & stickers to the kids, as well as fans, handkerchiefs & pins to the older folks...all this in only 4 innings. I went by her section before I left and took a picture of her with the sign Turner Field put up for her this year:
Hazel has been doing her thing at the Ted for a while, so the kicker that makes her even more special is that this year she is doing it while suffering from leukemia. I tried to think of a better word than suffering, because to be around her, you wouldn't think of it that way. The woman's resolve to have fun and spread her joy never flagged. Even on that oppresively hot and bad-game day, she was still smiling and pumping people's spirits up as they left. So even if you don't sit in her section, maybe go by and say "hi" to the bronzed lady (she puts bronze glitter on her arms) in 418. A true fan, and a true good spirit!