My Aunt Myrtle

My Aunt Myrtle (1889-1985) was a jewel with a heart of gold. Her children were among my favorites. Ann was a bit older and Dickie gave me my first nose-bleed. All have gone on before, but not their memories. I spent three summers on the Jones ranch, just outside Idabel, Oklahoma, digging potatoes, gigging carp, catching june bugs and fire flies, sleeping on a pallet on a screened-in porch, bathing in a metal tub and riding a stallion named “Salem”. My Uncle Richard was the Sheriff of McCurtain County for over 30-years. He had been awarded a silver Colt.45 pistol with his name engraved on the barrel. It was placed in a velvet box, unloaded, on a reserved place on the mantel in the great room with four sets of fingerprints left by admiring nephews. After Uncle Richard passed away prior to our last summer, Aunt Myrtle, Ann and Dickie moved into Idabel. We still spent some of that last summer on the ranch. Aunt Myrtle was delightful. She had favorite expressions that I use in this blog,” donchaknow” and “heelawsie”. She spoke in a whisper as if telling a secret and usually ended her conversation with “Really”. A hug from my Aunt Myrtle was like being engulfed by a feather bed. On one of our Christmas Concerts, my choir performed “Night of Miracles” for standing room only at Central Baptist Church in Bryan. My Aunt Myrtle was seated with my family about halfway up the aisle. At the conclusion of our concert (recorded on Austin Custom Records), she jumped to her feet, clapping and encouraging all to stand. They did. My choir may not recall that special moment, but I will never forget it. Just as all the Tabb girls suffered from depression, you would never have known it when knowing my Aunt Myrtle Jones of Idabel, Oklahoma. You will never find a better hug, either. She passed away at the age of 96. I sang “Amazing Grace” at her funeral in her favorite Presbyterian Church. It wasn’t hard, since I knew where her eternal home was, donchaknow. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

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