OG Told Me: A Love Story
Felix and Hazel Wright met in a church in Arkansas circa 1934.
He was 19. She was 15.
Well, she was actually 13 at the time, but he soon found out. And 80 years later, they’ve learned a lot about each other— including how to love one and other.
The couple lived in Arkansas, where Mr. Wright worked multiple jobs, including picking cotton for a sharecropper.
"300 pounds. That’s the most I ever did in one day," said Mr. Wright, as he spoke about his experience sharecropping. His work resume is American history— it speaks of the occupations African-Americans held during the early 1900’s.
The couple decided to move to California in 1945.
"I came here looking for money," said Felix Wright, as he sat at the foot of his bed in North Oakland.
His recollection of driving to California in “a Chrysler, Cadillac, Ford- na it was probably a Chrysler” in 1945, not only speaks of the great African-American migration from the South to the industrialized urban areas of American; it also highlights how popular American-made automobiles once were.
His work resume and recollection of automobiles pale in comparison to the photos on his walls.
"I was with the greatest!" Mr. Wright exclaimed, when asked about his experience in meeting Muhammad Ali.
Keeping with his trend of taking photos with royalty, Mr. Wright has a photo of himself standing aside BB King. “Look! And he’s holding Lucille,” Mr. Wright seemingly forgot he was 100 years old as became animated, pointing to the King’s guitar. The King was dressed sharp. So was Mr. Wright. Not to mention Mrs. Wright’s uncanny sense of fashion, as she stood next to Felix in the photo.
In a number of pictures, the Mr. and Mrs. Wright have coordinated outfits: his tie went with her dress. Her glasses complimented his blazer.
Not matching. Coordinating… They had swag.
Aside from a family photo, there’s one other photo on the Wright’s bedroom walls: a photo of Barack and Michele Obama. I guess you could call that a family photo as well. I mean, the Obamas are familiar with the Wrights.
On November 15th 2011, the First Lady and President of the United States of America signed their names on a document dedicated to acknowledging the Wright’s 75th wedding anniversary.
Mr. Wright, passively proud of the letter from the President of the United States, spoke greater lengths about his wife’s angelic singing and her incredible ability to cook chitlins.
When asked about strategies on making love last, OG Told Me:
"I just know we tried to make it last from death, ‘til we part, or something like that." - Felix Wright said with ease.
Note: Aïdah Rasheed, who was present during the interview, is the granddaughter of “Grandma Hazel and Daddy Wright,” as she calls them. Rasheed is a filmmaker and lover of good stories; she told me about this couple and how they’ve been married for over 75 years. She wanted to make sure to document the story of an underaged couple from the South, and how they grew to a beautiful elder age, together. And now, as their memories fade they still remember to hold hands as the fall asleep, every night… I’m thankful for being a part of this documentation process.