Friday, July 11, 2008

Don't shirk the Gert

One last chance to get in your Gertie story.

For only the price of a cup of coffee a day, (Not Starbucks coffee, but lava hot, extra burnt, vending machine coffee.) Gertie can enjoy a fascinating life history. Please. Help. It's so little to give and such a big reward...

Hey you lurkers, I'm lookin' at YOU.

I have a prize for the winnah!

It's not a Wii though. It's not even useful. It's a major award? Muahahaha!


  1. I haven't left Gert's story because.. well... it's a sad one of heart-break and loss. She was the third wife of Lavert Odell Johnston, a Fundamental Mormon who continued to practice polygamy well after the LDS church abandoned the practice, and indeed had left the church when the LDS prophet made it official. She bore the man four children, three of whom died shortly after birth. her second, a son, died in WWII, after lying about his age to get into the Army. He was just turned sixteen when he was shot to death.

    She died of dissentary at age thirty-nine.

    I done toll you it weren't a purty story.

  2. um Gert's real name is Daisy. She is the daughter of Albert Cole Washington and Belva Louise Mayfield.

    She is from mixed racial parentage.

    Back in her day this was not only rare but hard for all concerned.

    Her father Albert Cole Washington was a tenor sax player in dance bands in the 1940's. Her Mother Belva Louise Mayfield was from an upper crust family from New York. One night Belva went to a club with some College friends to hear some JAZZ in the city. Well, the music was HOT Belva could dance and Albert caught her eye that night.
    9 months later Daisy was born. Belva's parents worried how this out of wedlock birth would affect their standing in the country club decided to disown Belva and her parents. This resulted in a spat of rumors that led to the Mayfields being asked to leave the small town they lived in.

    They moved to the west coast where Albert caught gigs in the few jazz clubs in San Francisco. Belva got work at the public library and Daisy?

    Daisy went to school graduated with high honors.

    Sadly in the 1950's the racial divide was still strong.

    Daisy with her pale skin and yet kinky black hair.

    Was the butt of every racial slur and joke.

    She didn't care

    Things slowly began to change...

    Sadly Gert passed away too earlier
    to see any of these changes take place.

    but she said in passing

    Booyah! and all was perfect in the world

  3. Gert's real name was Liza Mae, born to Rosie a house slave in Georgia. Her mother, a comely woman, was a favored slave with papers in her possession making her a free woman upon the death of her owner. Her father was a Yankee Captain in the Union army and never owned up to the assignation that produced Liza Mae. The picture shown was her wedding picture. She married another free slave, Howard, at age 20 and produced seven children, four boys and three girls. Her husband, an extremely bright and very friendly man, formed a partnership with a Johnson Miller of upstate New York. Together they opened an inn in Connecticut which became the the first Howard-Johnson's Inn. Liza Mae chose the colors which were intentionally far removed from the blue or gray of the civil war. And now you know the rest of the story.


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