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Myrtle found at the old Scott place

The day Mom, Geniece Leftwich Marcum, and I happened by an old, above ground tomb with one weathered end broken off, she leaned over to peer in, scanned its interior and said, "There's myrtle in there," at the same time as young neighbor Freddie Ray was passing by. It happened in Metcalfe County, KY, six decades or so ago. - LW
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By Linda Marcum Waggener

On an end of winter day such as these -- balmy breezes, trees and shrubs budding out as far as you can see, Daffodils springing up -- Mom and I walked from her childhood farm, wading the creek, climbing the hills, onto what she called 'the old Scott place' where relatives of her father had once lived.



We'd carefully planned the time for walking in tall grasses, with just enough of winter left and not too much of spring having arrived, so that there'd be no chance of meeting up with a snake sunning itself on the sides of the Little Barren River.

On the walk she'd bring to life great Aunts with names like Otillie Jane and California, and the father of her father who had two sons and divided his land between them, and how one of the sons, the one who was her father, had nine children, her among them, and how his brother had one child but was curious and unfriendly to the nine on the other side of the fence.

We knew we'd arrived on the old Scott place when we saw, tucked among Maple, Cedar, Poplar, Apple and Oak trees, a little gray farmhouse under rusted, bent tin roof, appearing in varying states of falling down. The window panes were long gone, vertical plank siding was weathered to a silvery gray on the outside and bits of old wallpaper and newspapers that had once covered the interior walls was only visible in torn bits here and there.

In the thicket to the west side of what was left of the long abandoned house, we discovered a crude New Orleans style grave tomb, above ground. One end was broken off, leaving it open. Mom leaned over, peered inside and called out to me, "There's myrtle in there!"

"Well, tell her to come on out!" replied a neighbor who'd overheard her comment as he passed, heading to his family's farm on the other side of the hill.

There was good laughter between the two grownups and that was how I learned the difference between myrtle the ground cover as opposed to Myrtle the person.


This story was posted on 2018-03-02 02:39:17
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Myrtle is blooming now and my mind travels back



2018-03-02 - Somewhere in Sano, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Myrtle is in full bloom now as pictured on this roadside bank in eastern Adair County, KY. I never see these blooms on the ground cover called Myrtle without mentally zapping back in time some 60 years to a hillside walk, crossing the Little Barren in Metcalfe County, KY with my Mom, Geniece Marcum, to a place she called 'the old Scott place'. Clicking 'read more' below gives details. - LW

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