The only 'gossip' I have on Hawkins is a story from Jackson King, about the famous Disney Stare. (Bracketed portions are corrections.)
During the infamous Disney strike, animator Emery Hawkins joined the picket line because he was disgruntled that despite Walt Disney's assurances it was clear he was not going to be moved into features. One day Hawkins was outside the studio when Walt drove up, got out of his car, and started to enter the studio when he saw Hawkins. He walked up to Hawkins and stood there, inches from his face, just glaring for what seemed like forever, and then wordlessly turned and walked in the building. Hawkins later claimed when talking to animator Nelson Rhodes that the impact was so great that he laid down his picket sign and left the Disney lot that day, going over to [the Columbia] studio for work. "I knew my days at Disney were over," stated Hawkins who died in 1989.