Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chicken Ranch anniversary: Miss Edna (1928-2012)

Jayme Lynn Blaschke and Edna Milton Chadwell (aka Miss Edna) at Milton's home February 20, 2009.
On this date in 2012, Edna Milton Chadwell, better known as Miss Edna, passed away at the age of 84 in Phoenix, Arizona, where she'd lived a life of quiet anonymity since the early 1980s.

Her final days were tragic. The previous October (or September--my memory is imprecise) she was involved in a car wreck that left her hospitalized with an array of injuries. From what I understand, her memory was affected, and her brain stopped converting short-term memory into long. In practical terms, it meant somebody could introduce themselves and begin a conversation with her, but five minutes later she'd have no recollection. Over the previous three years I feel I've gotten to know her as much as any person alive today who wasn't related to her. She enthusiastically supported my book project and graciously invited my wife and myself into her home for hours of interviews. It is my everlasting regret that I did not complete the book in time for her to have her own copy.

She never lived the kind of life she'd wanted, but she still carved out a place in Texas history for herself. For that, her memory will endure.

Now Playing: Peter Gabriel Plays Live
Chicken Ranch Central

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