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By Donna Flood

Hazel Gamble's Baby Quilts

       Before the whispering breezes around Fairfax, Oklahoma escalate into cutting, freezing gale winds Hazel gamble has already looked that old cold nemesis right in the eye. She hasn't for her whole life time backed down from the challenge of providing wonderfully warm, snugly comforters for folks.

      Her mother, who was an extremely talented person, taught her. She learned from her mother.  Hazel's grandmother was physically challenged and had to walk on her knees.  By using thick padding on her knees she was able to cook, clean, and even cut fire wood to take care of her children. She also made quilts for an extra income. Hazel's mother was the eldest child.  She used her legs because her mother was desperately in need of help. Despite the incredibly hard work she did in the home the girl developed a strong desire to make the beautiful quilts also.  She continued with her pursuit to make quilts while she raised her family.

     “How could I not carry on with this craft when I had two, strong, hard working women, with talent, who went before me? “They were my role models.”  Hazel happily explains.

      The downtown Hilltop Quilt shop is located on Main Street in Fairfax, Oklahoma. The bright patterns of her mother's quilts decorate the wall. They hold a special place of honor. Hazel's spirit of perseverance against all odds gives a warmth for the heart rather than just for the body.

       While working in a factory Hazel learned more skills in management, organization and business. These are the things to help her to be able to operate this shop which holds large quilting machines.

       At this time Hazel is beginning to specialize in making baby quilts. Age, family health problems, and just generally keeping up with economic conditions has caused her to make this decision. The baby quilts are smaller and easier for her to handle on the machines. In this way she can continue to go forward with her work. The baby quilts are in a choice of pink or blue. Tiny gingham checks on a quilt the size of 4l inches by 51 inches is no less beautiful and is still a true heirloom. She miters the corners by hand and uses lovely designs of clouds or wavy diamonds for the machine quilting.

      You can e-mail Hazel to order a quilt for 46.00 dollars. She can only afford to take orders from the United States for this price. However, if you wish to find what your mailing cost is and include that with the order this will work. Her e-mail:  Mailing address: Hazel Gamble, Hilltop Quilt Shop, Main Street, Fairfax, Oklahoma. Zip 74637

Hazel Gamble & Harold Gamble

Fairfax cemetery is outstanding in portraying the personalities of the folks in that area. None of the markers are neglected and so many have outstanding care. The love these strong descendants of a pioneering ranching community had for their own is easy to see. One could almost visualize a family member lingering over a marker before leaving large, beautiful arrangements of flowers.

We gathered in a pavilion under a dark sky heavy with clouds on October 15, 2009. Harold Gamble and his wife Hazel Gamble services were attended by two different ministers at different times on the same day. Hazel died and within hours Harold had a heart attack and went with her.

Standing in a large number were men from the community in sharp Levi jeans, expensive 3x Beaver hats, and leather riding boots. This alone was a story to tell of Harold’s standing and work in that area. Their wives were seated and they all had touches of the western influence in their dress. There were expensive leather coats, one coat of a Pendleton look, soft leather looking moccasin like shoes, and other subtle statements telling of their lives. This is a place where there were people, who were not faint or feeble. Their clothing marked them as someone, who was up to the rugged environment, and were determined to survive. The pride in their costume told this.

The minister was kind and short in his words possible due to the fall chill that was on the air. It was obvious he knew Harold well and seemed to remember incidents, when they worked together, with pleasure. He told of the time their truck stalled on a low water bridge with a wall of water coming in their direction. He remembered with a sigh how the men around them came to their aid to push them out and allow them to escape before the flood swept through.

Hazel’s minister in the afternoon left a loving tribute to her in his description of her as a person dedicated in devotion to the comfort and care of people. He pointed out, in a subtle way, how she could be a model for all to follow.

Her memory card said, "A lady who loved and was loved by many and who touched lives for their good."

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