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Elmira Gandy Crapps - March 2009 - NCAP Calendar

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By Vicki Gandy Baggett
(edited for publication)

Elmira Gandy Crapps, 102

       "Another year, another president."  Those are the sentiments voiced by Gandyville's oldest resident, Elmira Gandy Crapps, who celebrated her 102nd birthday on Jan. 25th. Family and friends gathered at Poplar Dell Baptist (where she has been a member for over 75 years) on Saturday for the birthday celebration. "It's a family event that we all really look forward to," says nephew  Bill Gandy.  "We did the exact same thing with her father, John O. Gandy, who lived to be 108 and the reason for the naming of our community, Gandyville."
        Aunt Myra (as she is affectionately known throughout the community)  is the third Gandy descendant to live over 100.  In addition to her father, Aunt Myra's great uncle lived to be 108.  Two of her brothers lived to be 90 or older too.

      Aunt Myra traveled to this area with her parents, John and Victoria, four brothers (Colonel, Erastus, James and J.L.) and one sister (Eunice).  She eventually met and married W.H. (Haynes) Crapps, and together they created a successful trucking business called Gulf & Southern Transportation, which operated for 45 years in Century and provided hauling services for timber, lumber and equipment.  Although the couple had no children, they enjoyed 65 years together before his death.  "I learned a lot about money," Aunt Myra claims, "by being in business with my husband all those years."  She says she can sum it all up with this: "Don't spend what you don't have." 

        In addition to her husband, Aunt Myra credits her parents for teaching her about finances.  "We never went hungry because we raised our own beef and grew our own vegetables, but no matter how much we had, we were taught to share it with others. Papa said that God always notices those who serve others." Of the things invented during Aunt Myra's lifetime, the two that have affected her the most are central heat and refrigeration.  "We used to be so cold, especially at night, so when central heat came along, I just couldn't get over it.  And when we first got a refrigerator, I knew I could really stock up on all those sweets that I love!" she claims.
        Having enjoyed excellent health all of her life, Aunt Myra credits good habits and good sense for this. She still tries to walk every day, and she has never smoked or drank.  "I'm so thankful I can still get around," she says.  Coincidentally, she renewed her driver's license two years ago and is still able to drive to church, the beauty shop and the grocery store.

Myra as a teenager
Myra as a teenager

Myra as a teenager, #2

Myra as a teenager #2

      Will Aunt Myra make it to the 108-year mark like her father and great-uncle? "I never thought I would make it to 100! I just want people to remember me as being an honest, Christian person who always wanted to do the right thing.  I want people to remember me as a lady who tried to live for the Lord, not necessarily one who lived to be 100+.
Last year the Town of Century proclaimed Jan. 25 as the Elmira Gandy Crapps Day, and once again, Mayor Freddie Wayne McCall came to recognize another year for Aunt Myra. "It's just incredible.  I hope I can get around as well if I make it to 102," Mayor McCall stated at the birthday event. 
       Alger Sullivan Historical Society member Don Sales also celebrated with Aunt Myra and her family by bringing her copies of some original loan papers that the Historical Society has on file from her father. Mr. Gandy had used a black 1,000 lb. mule and a large wagon (whose whereabouts were unknown) as collateral for a short loan that he needed. 

        Although most people would enjoy the publicity of another year, Aunt Myra remains humbled.  "I don't know. I just had my very first fortune cookie, and the message inside was this:  'The way to enjoy the future is to invent it.' I'll just keep on inventing my future as long as God allows."


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