The day Hazel Fobes showed me up

When I look back at the early ’90s, I can remember a lot of issues that everyone worked on. Specifically, though, when I think about Green Line and then the Mountain Xpress, I am reminded of publisher Jeff Fobes’ mother, Hazel Fobes. She attended meeting after meeting, waiting to speak her opinion on all kinds of issues, from the problems with a water source to zoning issues. She was dedicated to her causes.

I recall one public hearing during the winter that went on into the night. The snow was coming down and the roads were getting really slick. I sat next to Hazel and we were both worried about the worsening weather. As always, we were the only audience members at 11:15 at night. Hazel spoke last after hearing me ask her to shorten her remarks. She didn’t, of course, because that was not her style. Afterwards, I walked her to her car and it was really slick.

The next morning, there was an early meeting at the Water Authority. I waited for a while to come into town until the roads got better, so I missed the meeting. At another meeting later that day, Hazel came up to me and asked why I missed the water meeting. That was Hazel Fobes, one of the most colorful and diligent figures in the area at the time.

Mike Plemmons is a lifelong Buncombe County resident and is executive director of the Council of Independent Business Owners.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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