Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Hula Hoop Lady

This is Pamela Brown, the Hula Hoop Lady of Norfolk.
I rolled the stroller with my son across the street to finally meet this heroic woman, to ask her questions and take these priceless photos.

She stands in the middle of a busy intersection rain or shine and does the hula hoop as cars drive by. Sometimes she does multiple hula hoops at a time and when it rains she holds an umbrella while still moving the hula hoop on her hips. She always has her little portable radio with the oldies station on.
As a teenager, she told me she was in a terrible car accident on prom night. Doctors said she would never be able to walk. She was in a coma and had serious brain damage. Metal pins run all through her shoulders and arms. Pamela is not only a survivor, she is pure hope and inspiration.
I remember driving by her one rainy day with a full stressful schedule of things to do before picking up my son from preschool. As I passed her, a big smile came to my face.
Special people like Pam can be found in small towns all across America. A lot of us may be afraid or laugh at these folks because they are different and may be dancing to another tune. Instead of being afraid and laughing at them, why not meet them?
A few weeks ago on the late night local news I was sad to hear that someone had complained about Pam's radio being too loud. I really do believe that the traffic from the cars is much louder! Anyhow, she was tazed by police, arrested and handcuffed...
and sadly, I haven't seen her since.
So ladies, (yes you!) Holly, Jolie, Kjersten, Jaime, Jennifer, Laurie, Kelly, Annie and Kim, in the spirit of Pamela Brown, let's get hoopin'!!!!


CocoaStomp said...

Hi Kim!

It is nice to meet you virtually and I'm so glad more artists are taking advantage of all that November energy. If only we can keep our hoops in the air.

Your work is really lovely! I'll be checking out your etsy shop and links and things.

Kim Baise said...

Thanks Jaime,
I really admire your art too and am looking forward to seeing a children's picture book illustrated by you in the near future!

Artwork by KD said...

Thanks for commenting on my work! You have a very distinct style. I love your patterns and color choices. Very unique! Love the hula hoop pics too:-)

Kim Baise said...

Thanks so much KD. I love your recycled works and your music too You Rock!!!

Kjersten said...

Hi Kim!

Thanks for the comment! Love the hula hoop pictures. Good reminder to keep grooving. I look forward to looking around your site and checking out your work.


Philo said...

Love the story and we've been following the Pamela Brown arrest and everything over on since it began. The video footage of arrest is horrifying and it's great that there's talk of a lawsuit against the Norfolk police at this point. Do a search on for all the articles and by all means, get out and hoop with Pamela. We had a hoop jam in her support and had about 75 people out there on the median that day. - Philo

Kim Baise said...

Thanks for the link Philo. Yes, the video footage is disturbing. I saw another report on the late night local news again last week. I can't believe the officer didn't get punished for what he did. Hopefully justice will come soon and swift when the lawsuit goes to court.