Monday, September 19, 2011

Flo Pegee Skeen - A Versailles Icon

I am ask about Flo Pegee several times a year by email and in person. I always state that I don't really know much about her. I did have the chance to talk to her on two occasions when I was very young, 11 or 12 as to the best I can remember. I was walking from our farm to the Versailles show I and all of the other kids never walked past her house on her side od the street, Why, we were afraid of her because of the stories being told about her as a witch. As I passed across from her converted green tavern (where she lived later in life) she called out,"young man oh young man, could you help me a minute". As I walked across the street to her I must tell you I was very afraid, but I kept walking to her. As I came near she said, "Can you lift this flower pot from the porch for me"? I did not reply but did as she said putting it on the sidewalk as she pointed where to place it. She said thank you so much. I replied you are welcome mam. As I turned to walk away she shouted "but I didn't pay you", as she was opening a little change purse pulling out a dime. I said "no mam you do not owe me anything". She told me in a very grateful voice, "you have been raised proper thank you". I walked away on my way to the show. I never told any of the other kids about the encounter with Flo. The second time was about a year later. Flo was in her yard and remembering the last encounter I just said good morning mam. She replied just a simple hello. As I look back I feel she was a very misunderstood lonely lady. I have never judged her as I have no proof of the roomers that were told about her. Even today if you mutter the words Flo Pegee, witch will he heard. She did dress in black and always wore a large hat, does this make her a witch, I think not. The photo here shows her as a young very attractive lady. I know of no photo of her in later years of her life. All of the photos I have collected are posted here:

Here is a paragraph from the Alan Smith Sr. authored book "Tales of Versailles"

Flo taught me to judge people as you see them, not from what others say.
......... Jack