Johnnye Arnett Eure 
Member since Aug 17, 2015


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Re: “The Epping Way Mystery

I grew up in Raleigh on James Rd.. in the 40's, 50's and '60's. Virginia and Berry Brooks were close family friends. I called them Aunt Virginia and Uncle Berry. A few facts not mentioned above. Yes! The Brooks had peacocks. There was one very large one named 'Lord Peacock." One year Uncle Berry gave Aunt Virginia a birthday present which she was not expecting. He gave her a "prize Angus bull". She was wanting a mink coat. She named the bull Minky". Their house keeper was named Quincy. She made the most delicious Russian tea. We were served in the "lani" which in the Hawaiian language means "heaven". It was a glassed in dining room where you could observe Lord Peacock and his harem. In summer we were served ice cream on chilled sea shells. They always brought me back presents from their world travels. I met some fascinating people at their home as a child. One was the "Prince of Prussia". He was Kaiser Wilhelm's nephew. Aunt Virginia's best childhood friend was Anne Spalding. She had been married and divorced from the sports equipment fellow. But, she was the mother of actor George Hamilton. In between her marriages ( she had several ) she and her sons stayed at Epping Forrest Manor. I had met George and his brothers as a kid. Virginia & Berry had one daughter, Virginia, Jr. She married Alan Martin and had one daughter Anne Field Martin. After the Brooks death, the property was left to the City of Memphis. The city never did anything with it. It was abandoned and so I heard, vagrants were living there and a couple of years ago it burned. Virginia Jr. also passed away. The art work and furnishings all went to the granddaughter. The Brooks had purchased the home from the Mc Fadden family. He too ( Mr. Mc Fadden ) was in the cotton business...I believed he had moved here from PA or NJ) His daughter is famous fashion designer " Mary Mc Fadden". When the Brooks sold the part of the property which became the tennis club and apartments, they had one final big party. She was a part of the "Iris Society" ( TN state flower ) and opened up her home and gardens during the peak of their season. I was a young teen, but my assignment was to be hostess for her " hat room". Aunt Virginia collected and had made the most unique hats. ( Like bullfighter and bull on one! Wow! ) Anyway, I described the hats and where she either bought them or had them made. I bet 300 or more folks came for that party! They were lovely people and knowing them made my childhood even more memorable!

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Posted by Johnnye Arnett Eure on 08/17/2015 at 11:03 AM
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