By CALVIN PYNN
Well folks, the Lady in Black has made it to her destination. Therefore, I felt a closing chapter to her story from my perspective would be an appropriate third and final installment in this series of columns I’ve been writing.
The Lady in Black, as she is known by thousands of bypassers and social media followers, walked into Winchester, Va. last week after a nearly two month long journey. In those final weeks, her silent trek managed to grab the attention of major media outlets around the world, including CNN, MSNBC, and even the BBC.
Her real name is Elizabeth Poles, and she walked all the way up to the far northwestern corner of Virginia from Motts, Alabama. It could have obviously been the black veils she was draped in that caught everybody’s attention, or just her silent demeanor, but the fact remains that her presence, journey and effect on so many people is nothing short of a phenomenon.
Some sources claim that she was on a sort of religious pilgrimage, among other rumors. However, now that the journey is over, there still seems to be no explanation for why she decided to travel so far.
The media managed to reach out to her brother, Raymond Poles, who revealed that his sister is a military veteran and mother of two. She had also lost her father and husband in recent years.
Could it be mourning then? Your guess is as good as mine. But if we know one thing is for certain, the Lady in Black wants her privacy.
People have lined the streets to see her as she has traveled north, taking pictures, posting to social media, even attempting to approach her and learn about who she is. From what I’ve seen, none have been very successful in that last endeavor.
Now that she is Winchester, though, the Lady in Black plans to stay to become part of the community. The Winchester Police Department issued a statement shortly after her arrival last Tuesday requesting the public to respect her privacy, as she was taken to an undisclosed location and provided with food and shelter.
In their statement, they relayed the Lady in Black’s request to be left alone, and for the public to respect her wishes.
That’s the end of the story. She’s made it to Winchester, and she’s staying. Simple as that. I, personally, was hoping for something a little more climactic, but I guess that’s just the hyping effect of social media these days.
I’ve been following this story for the past two months, and when I first became aware of the Lady in Black’s journey, I kept my eyes glued to her Facebook page to track her whereabouts, hoping that her trek would take her up through this area, and maybe I could catch a glimpse of her. Now that it’s all over, though, I have a different opinion of the whole thing in retrospect.
I wanted to meet her in person, interview her, at least get a picture, maybe try to learn who she was. But all of that doesn’t matter. All that matters is she got where she needed to go, and frankly, what business is it of ours? I’ve expressed my curiosity for this phenomenon through these columns, but now that the Lady in Black is resting, I will as well, and I hope the rest of the world will take the same hint.
If she has a story, whatever it may be, she will tell it when the time is right.