Ann Hawkins of Leachville was excited and thrilled to be a part of the crowd at the Ritz enjoying a visit with former Blytheville native George Hamilton. She and George Hamilton and his family go back a long way.
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Hawkins, 88, is a native of Blytheville moving to Leachville 18 years ago.
When she was a young woman she took the job as a nanny caring for George Hamilton and his younger brother, David, during their years in Blytheville.
"I always liked babies and babysitting. I had been working as a nanny for a doctor in Blytheville and when they moved away, another doctor, Dr. Stevens hired me to be nanny for his grandsons, George and David." Hawkins said. "I loved it. They were only 11 months difference in their ages. I had a bed between their cribs. I had two strollers welded together so we could go for long walks. There is no telling how many miles I pushed those boys up and down main street. We always went for a walk after breakfast."
Hawkins said she was glad to have a job during those days but it was much more than a job, she truly loved the family and caring for the boys.
"The family was so good to me," she said. "George's mother, Ann, was a beautiful woman. I can still see her coming down that spiral staircase in their home. We would take trips to Biloxi and Gulfport. I would care for the boys and we had such a good time on the beaches."
Hawkins had the opportunity to drive through Biloxi a few years ago and she was disappointed to see the wonderful place they stayed let go down with torn awnings.
"He and his brother were such good babies," she said. "Little did I know I was caring for a future movie star."
Hawkins said when Ann Hamilton decided to move to California, she asked her to go with them but she declined.
She has kept up with Hamilton's career through the years and has been very proud of his accomplishments.
"I loved watched him on Dancing with the Stars," Hawkins said.
She has enjoyed reading his book, "Don't Mind if I Do."
After the Hamiltons moved to California, Mrs. Hawkins stayed in Blytheville and married Buford Hawkins in November before World War II was declared in December.
She has five children, one deceased, one lives in Virginia, two live in Dallas, Texas, and one lives in Blytheville.
Her children bought her tickets to attend George Hamilton's visit to Blytheville.
"I waited in line a long time to see him and he seemed glad to see me," Hawkins said. "We visited briefly and he told me we could visit more later but the line was long and I was really tired and I had to get home. It was really good to see him and I enjoyed our brief talk and hearing the stories of his life."
The last time she saw him was when she attended his mother's funeral.
She has very fond memories of the two years she cared for the Hamilton boys.
"The Lord has been good to me and I am thankful I am still able to get around," Hawkins said.