The McBee Collection — 6/3/10

If photo scanning sessions get to be much more fun than today’s, I may melt with pleasure.  Margi Carroll McBee was a saver from a long rooted Morgan County family of savers.  There were early daguerreotypes of the Kiefers (husband and wife,) Uncle John in his Spanish-American War uniform complete with sword, and several photos that had Betty Lou — who thought she’d seen them all — a-flutter with delight.  Margi and Dwan’s daughter, Teresa, is now the keeper of the trove and was generous about sharing.

As good as the photos — although not to be part of the “Images” book — were the stories, not to mention the names: Anna Matilda, Ida Mae, Viola — and the nicknames like Buckwheat ( a female, now in her 80s) who always swore like a long shoreman.  “So did her mother,” claimed Betty Lou.

My favorite story was of a local jeweler (who shall remain nameless although oldsters will know him) who always took a longtime fixing a watch.  But being considerate, he would loan customers a watch.  One customer caught on to the trick when, after weeks of waiting for her watch and wearing a loaner, saw HER watch on someone else’s wrist (as a loaner.)  A watch shell game!

Listening to the stories, I realized how the flow of people shifts.  During the 1930s through 50s, locals got educated and went to Washington to get good government jobs.  For the past couple decades, the flow has gone the other way with Washington folks coming to the country.

My final observation — eccentrics have always been a Morgan County demographic.

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