Friday, September 09, 2005

The Green Eyed Tizzy

Once upon a time, I was little girl.
A little girl that was very afraid of things that went bump in the night.
Especially afraid of things that went bump in the night at summer camp.
And especially, especially afraid of the Green Eyed Tizzy,
who lived in the backwood hills of Estill County,
in creepy old cabin,
at my summer camp.

I still shiver as I type her name.

Yes, every summer I would get blissfully shipped off to Camp Mary Breckenridge at The Cathedral Domain.
The Domain was an Episcopalian church camp that didn't seem to mind that I was christened Catholic,
raised Baptist and had developed my own unusual brand of superstitious behavior on top of that.
They welcomed all kinds.
They loved all of us.
And in return, I always loved going to camp.

To me, Camp seemed like another country.
It was a lush wonderland of sassafrass trees, teaberry leaves, walking sticks, rattlesnakes, campfires, starry nights and...
the aforementioned, Tizzy.
Tizzy was a witch that lived in the hills behind the camp ground.
Not the good kind of witch, either.

Everything seemed so magical back in those woods, I didn't see any reason to believe that this said witch could not exist.
So I feared her.
The mere thought of her would make the hair on the back of my neck stand straight out.
Apparently, still does.

Legend had it that she would wait just beyond sight in the trees, and if any camper should wander too far off the hiking trail she would snatch you up, take you to her ramshackle cabin and eat you for dinner.

A most horrible death for someone who had a smiling Ziggy on her t-shirt and slept in a Snoopy sleeping bag, such as I.

The counselors explained to us, as we listened wide-eyed and slack-jawed,
that unfortunately, there really was no warning to let you know you were about to be snatched up.
However, there were stories from campers long ago that if the light was just right, and if you sat quiet and still long enough, you may see her glowing yellow-green eyes as she sought out her next meal.
The glowing eyes would be your only warning.
Some claimed to have seen her wearing ragged clothes, with long white hair, moving quickly through thicket of saplings, at the far side of the pond.

I made it a point to stay away from that side of the pond after that.

I had not thought about the Green Eyed Tizzy for many years...
until this Tuesday evening while having a big family dinner at Mark's Grandmother's home in Melber.

Nanny, lives out in the country.
Where, as you know, witches like to live.
And on this past Tuesday night there was an apparent witch spotting by four little girls.

Mark's nieces, Madison and Abbi and two of their friends, Mason and Kayla were running around the huge yard doing cheers and acting silly like girls do. When they disappeared to the back yard for a while no one seemed to worry much.
There's nothing to raise concern in the back yard at Nanny's.
Or so it would seem.
When the pink and sparkly flip-flop crew came back to the front porch a few minutes later,
a breathy and frantic tale was told about a witch they were certain they had just seen in the old vacant trailer in the back acre of the yard.

As they shrieked, pushed each other and double dog dared one another to go back to the trailer, Mark's step brother Jeff decided to play a trick on them and quickly devised a devious plan.
My role in this covert operation was to divert their attention for just a few minutes and then convince them to go back to the trailer.

I knew exactly what to do and I began to tell them the story of the Green Eyed Tizzy.
They were eating it up and nodding their pigtailed heads in absolute disbelief.
That's when the littlest one said, "I think I saw green eyes in the trailer."

"Are you sure?", I replied.

A tiny whisper was uttered, "Yes."

"Well let's go check it out. I'll walk back there with you."

As we walked back towards the trailer, I realized that I had not only scared the girls, but my
retelling of the Tizzy legend, had also scared me quite a bit...
And it was getting dark really fast...
Darkness always helps my active imagination to whirl out of control.

As we got closer the fear grew and Mason and Kayla decided that there was really no need to go up on the porch.
They could see just fine from the grass.
I stayed there, in the grass, with them and held their tiny sweaty hands.
Madison and Abbi, staying true to the game of sibling rivalry, raced up the stairs each one trying to beat the other to be the first to get their nose pressed up against the glass pane.

That's exactly the moment Jeff's plan came to full effect.

You see, while I was scaring our small friends quite thoroughly on the front porch,
Jeff had gone inside the trailer, cleared the cobwebs and was hiding.
As soon as he saw the tiny faces peering through the glass, he jumped toward the door yelling and making a racket and banging on the walls.

Needless to say, we witnessed the sisters performing a gravity defying levitation act while screaming their tiny lungs out.

Actually the plan was so well conceived and carried out,
it not only scared the sisters on the porch...
but it also scared the hell out of the three of us standing in the grass.
We let out a triple scream, loud and strong.

All together, five honestly fear filled screams were heard,
in Melber, Kentucky,
on Tuesday night,
all because of the legend of a very scary witch with glowing green eyes.

Still believing in magic,
I suppose it's possible that those screams could have been carried on the wind
to the hills of Estill County.
And it's possible that they could've wafted in through the busted out window of that old ramshackle cabin,
and maybe, just maybe, upon hearing these far away screams,
that old Green Eyed Tizzy smiled.


Anonymous Michelle said...

I love it! Thanks for the laugh and the memories. Only seven more years until I pack the girls off to Estill County...singing camp songs the whole way there! ;-)

Friday, 09 September, 2005  
Blogger Lori-Lyn said...

Oh, she did! I know she heard those screams!
Great story.

Saturday, 10 September, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is so funny because I was just telling alice about the green eyed tizzy the other night. I guess she is rearing her ugly, green-eyed head all over the place ;-)

Sunday, 11 September, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that would be the green-eyed tizzy rearing her head not alice . . . ;-)

Sunday, 11 September, 2005  
Blogger anessa said...

Very Funny, I kinda knew you weren't talking about Alice...but you made me have a good laugh!
You should comment more often!

Sunday, 11 September, 2005  
Anonymous Donna Maria said...

Do you think the Tizzy would be up for some contractual work in McCracken County?

Tuesday, 13 September, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, I recall the Tizzy too. I believe he/she used to live next to the Lady in White.

Thursday, 15 September, 2005  
Blogger anessa said...

I don't know about the Lady in tell!

Thursday, 15 September, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well according to OUR counselors and the very same camp. I think the story was some gal had maybe been killed wearing this white dress and of course the story is that she would be seen hitching rides on the side of the road where she was killed. As I recall, one driver picked up the "lady in white" and drove her to her home and gave him an address and when the driver arrived he realized it was a cementary. I was told this story either before or after the green eyed tizzy. If I heard it, I am sure you guys did too. Or you know, it may have been told to only us guys in our cabin because one of the other counselors when running past our windows into the woods dressed in white. I am sure I did not sleep that night

Monday, 19 September, 2005  
Anonymous jackie said...

That is soo funny, I recall many times looking up to the left when we would walk back to the cabins on the other side of the camp, always looking for those eyes..... I would love to go up to the camp again, so many memories, but it wouldnt be the same now, I think we're too old maybe, ha ha. cute story........

Saturday, 24 September, 2005  
Blogger anessa said...

Jackie--- I'm so happy you are now part of my blog!

Saturday, 24 September, 2005  
Anonymous todd said...

I totally remember the green eyed tizzy and the lady in white stories from the domain. Some of my best memories in life are from that place! I miss it so much, I haven't been down since senior conference 2002 or 03. I think one year one of the counselors dressed up as the lady in white and walked through the fog in the valley to scare everyone!

Saturday, 25 January, 2014  

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