Person of the Week
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Alan Hetzel

Updated: Sunday, September 15 2013, 02:20 PM EDT
When someone says they want to give you something for free you might be a skeptical, but for seven years our Person of the Week has been giving away something near and dear to his heart.

The only catch is that those who take it, enjoy it as much as he has.

Seven months ago, in a dark little shed behind his home, Alan Hetzel began preparing for a late summer ritual.

Stored in bins of woodchips, in plastic bags, each with a number, a classification, and history.  He plans for the give away.

Alan Hetzel, "Person of the Week", "it's hard to give them up. But, it's time to give up and it's a lot more fun watching other people enjoy them."

It's months away, the plot of land in the Black Mountain Retirement Community he lives is still hardened by winter.

"I can see a lot of hard work ahead."  he see's possibilities, "I can picture the way it did look back in September at the peak of the season."

Then, late May, after the last frost, "the same plot I've used the last few years".  His babies, the tubers he cultivated for months in his shed, were planted and poised for a summer of growth. 

"That's what I want to do."

In September, the sign came up and the scissors were hung out for any resident who can clip the stem of one of his beautiful dahlia's.

For seven years now, Alan Hetzel has grown his dahlia's just to give them away, "I grow them for the satisfaction of sharing them with other people.  I'm glad other people can see what I see in them."

He see's dahlia's like he see's people, coming all shapes, sizes and colors, "everyone is unique".

Pat Trauttman will make a special dahlia delivery to her husband who has Alzheimer, "I've really never seen anything like it in my entire life."

Beauty within reach of anyone who wants to take it from the man with a green thumb and heart of gold.

And with the passing of the seasons, the dahlia man will ready for another late summer day. 
"I grow them to see them with other people."

He'll once again, grow them for the giving, "makes it all worthwhile.  Even when they go away."
This weekend their will be hundreds if not thousands of beautiful dahlia's on display in a show put on by the Asheville Dahlia Society.

It's being held at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, free to the public and free parking.Alan Hetzel

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