Six Gun Myrtie

My Grandma B., nee Myrtie Mae Edwards, shown whooping it up more than I ever knew she could. On the back of the picture is the note,”Taken at Daytona Beach” . The only beach I ever thought she went to was Buckroe Beach but maybe she was cutting loose at Bike Week. She was a person who’s timidity bordered on paranoia. She made my Grandfather drive at least ten MPH below the speed limit, (she never learned to drive, too scared) and she was afraid, while being driven around, that passing small aircraft would crash into the car. When I was little she told me to latch the little gate in the backyard on Rosewood Ave. so that “the ni–ers wouldn’t come in and “get us”. She also told me to stop peeing in the backyard because “people would think we were from the country”. When I was about eight years old I was looking at pictures in National Geographic of barebreasted African tribal women with their pendulent dugs when, without a thought to my presence, she reached into her blouse and pulled out one pendulous dug to readjust it. I realized that the strange undergarment hanging on the clothesline known as a brassiere actually kept women’s breasts in the upright position. It was only years later when my hormones led me to direct discovery that this erroneous notion was pleasantly dispelled. Grandma B. called me over to her rocking chair a few months before she died and told me, “I went through life with my brakes on, don’t let that happen to you.” I promised I wouldn’t and I guess that was one promise that I really kept.


12 Responses to “Six Gun Myrtie”

  1. Despite this picture I suppose ol’ Myrtie Mae just never learned to “take the bull by the horns” She really was a sweet old lady.

  2. The thing about the passing aircraft possibly hitting your car is worth thinking about.

  3. If you post a better High-Rez scan I would restore this better. GREAT PHOTO of grandma!

  4. …and if you repost – consider paragraphs! (on behalf of Jude for the Defense, cause I’m almost sure she would’ve said something by now if she had seen this)

  5. corndoggie Says:

    Good first start, Uncle B.

    Myrtie came from the slave-owning side of the family. They kept a human ear nailed to the barn as an intimidation factor, claiming it was Nat Turner’s.

    A pair of brothers from the other side fought in blue, and one spent time in Libbie Prison. He was one of the only prisoners to walk out on his own two feet when freed — he’d traded hand-carved neckerchief holders and trinkets with the guards for bits of extra food.

  6. The exhibit I’m working on has a bit about this guy who was in charge of the aforementioned prison from which few walked out of on they own two feet:

  7. corndoggie Says:

    In 8th grade I made a scale model of Libbie Prison as a school project, years before learning about the ancestral link.

  8. While many of my ancestors, the Yeasts, the Edwardses and others, wore Rebel Gray another side of the family were Northern Aggressors. The pair of brothers Corndoggie mentioned were Kilgores I believe, the maiden name of my paternal grandfather’s mother. They were in The First Iowa Volunteeers. Captured at Shiloe they first were marched to Andersonville where one signed a pledge to never again take up arms against the CSA and was paroled, a strange concept for us today. He returned north and immediately took up arms against the CSA. The other brother was marched to Libby prison and continued his carvings for food gig accounting for his ability to survive and walk out of that hellhole under his own steam. Some of the carvings survived in the family but have now been lost. Years later this brother was attending the World Exposition in Chicago, 1903? Libby Prison had been recreated in exact detail and scale for the fair. When he walked around the corner and saw his former place of imprisonment it is said he fainted dead away and possibly had a minor stroke. Later this replica burned to the ground, a fitting end for a monument to so much suffering.

  9. I thought my mom on a bear was a find but this photo is really something else. I would definitively restore it and I can’t believe I’m going to say this but maybe a copyright and watermark. It looks like something that could easily go viral.


    OK, I was wrong about Libby (not Libbie) Prison on a couple of counts. The one in Chicago was not a replica, it was the actual building, dismantled and reconstructed there as a war museum. That’s what my ancestor saw and why it was so vivid to him. It didn’t burn down, it was sold off as souvenirs piece by piece. After the occupation of Richmond to Union army got some revenge by detaining Confederate officers there. My mom used to point out a metal scrapyard near the canal that was it’s location. It sure must have made an impression on folks at the time.

  11. Some of the souvenir pieces from Chicago made it to Pamplin Historical Park, near Petersburg. I got a call to go there awhile back to discuss how to display some beams and other architectural parts that they had purchased from a collector. They were in a big hurry to get the project rolling, and I had to drop everything and visit the site to discuss the work.

    I came up with a great idea within minutes of viewing the space and the objects to display. They got really excited about the idea. I sent them a proposal (it was a bargain). They never called me back or returned subsequent phone calls. Need to get down there again sometime to see if they just decided to steal my idea and bypass me.

  12. corndoggie Says:

    Sue! Crush them!

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