Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Miss Hollywood

I have wanted to write this post for a few weeks but my heart just wasn't ready to deal with the death of my grandmother. I was honored to get to go to the funeral (thanks to my dad for tickets--first class, but I won't brag) and help my mom and dad clean out her stuff and drive around where she lived and soak up the history of my family.

My grandparents lived in a small town called Montmorency, South Carolina. My Pop was a farmer and had lots of land. I spent many summers there driving tractors, jumping in bins of fresh pulled cotton, and working in the country store they had on their property. I watched as family after family came in to get their groceries, usually on their tab. I learned all about helping people in need. I watched as Pop would take groceries to single moms and to the elderly who couldn't get out. I questioned him one day why he kept letting people add to their tab when they hadn't paid in years. He would shake his head and tell me that they needed it more than he did. At that tender age, I was enamored by the big white plantation house they lived in and all the farms but I saw what was really important in the day to day activity of his life. People!

At the funeral one of the workers at Nana's home got up to tell a story. She said she had just begun working there and was sent to get a lady named "Miss Hollywood." She said she looked all over the place for someone named "Miss Hollywood" and couldn't find anyone by that name. She was confused. She finally asked who is "Miss Hollywood?" "Oh girl, that is Mrs. Flanders (my Nana) and we call her "Miss Hollywood" because she is always dressed up, has her make-up on and all her jewelry." My Nana still went to the beauty shop each week to get her hair done. I got to help my parents clean out her rooms and I can't tell you all the stuff we found. She had turned her bathtub into a closet with hangers full of clothes because the other two closets were full. She had drawers of earrings she had filled up ice cube containers with thousands of earrings. She had her lipsticks divided into colors and probably had over a hundred. She had bags and bags of cosmetics and beauty supplies. You have got to love her.

My Nana took me for the first time to buy makeup. She walked right into Dillard's and told the cosmetic lady that it was time for me to learn what to do with makeup. I got a full facial and a makeup artist to teach me how to apply the makeup. I was spending the summer with her and I am pretty sure she never asked my mom. I came home that summer all like "Miss Hollywood." My Mom recovered well but she was pretty shocked to say the least. I thought I was pretty special! The best part of it all, she charged it all to my mom's credit card. :)

The funeral was a perfect representation of her life. My Nana spent most of her life helping the fire department. She raised money for them for everything. The chief of the fire department told us that they wouldn't have a department if it wasn't for her. The fire department came to her funeral with lights flashing. They carried her casket behind the truck and walked her to her grave. She went out in style, perfect Hollywood style!


Amanda said...

I'm so sorry you lost your Nana. It sounds like she was a special lady. It's so wonderful that the fire department honored her so!

Lindsay said...

I'm sorry my friend. What a sweet story - nice to have such an awesome legacy. I love you.

alcohaupt said...

Your Nana sounds like my kind of lady!

Lelia Chealey said...

this was so precious. So sorry about your loss but what awesome memories you have!