Remembering the way she was

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Virginia Webb Stanley Plummer (Who departed from this life Sunday, February 2, 1997)

Editor's Note: Today's column is a repeat of one penned by your correspondent on Sept. 20, 1990, when it was printed in this journal.

Although this biographical sketch fails to justify to the fullest length and breadth of Virginia Webb Plummer's character, it perhaps will serve as a brief, incomplete delineation or presentation of this outstanding lady's sterling attributes. Her absence will leave a void in the local scene that will be with us for generations yet unborn.

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May she rest in peace

Timothy Leary once said "Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition."

Don't really understand what he meant when he said that.

Maybe he was depicting men as the inferior gender of the species.

It suggests that with just the slightest effort the weaker sex would leave all us macho types falling far behind. We know one Camellia City lady who has left her mark on this, her native soil, without half trying and in so doing has left many stragglers of the male persuasion in her wake.

We speak here of our worthy friend and sometimes consultant, Virginia Webb Stanley ("Viola") Plummer, who served valiantly for many years as the Emily Post-Heloise-Dear Abby combo of this trade area.

She still does.

Don't let the above series of names belonging to Dame Plummer confuse you n all of them belong to her monogamous state.

All the names are of family derivation save the one in quotes and the final one that came through the holy estate of matrimony.

The Virginia part was taken from her maternal grandmother, Mrs. Beeland; the Webb part was the maiden name of her paternal Stanley grandmother; and, of course, the Stanley part came from her father's side of the house.

She later added the Plummer when she became Mrs. McDonald Plummer.

Viola entails the telling of another tale, one that must be told at a later date due to space limitations.

Anyhow, our friend was born (she's not shy about her age) on December 11, 1920, in the room that currently serves as her bedroom in one of Greenville's most beautiful antebellum homes, 218 E. Commerce Street.

She concluded her secondary education in the Greenville public school system and received her higher education at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia, and the University of Alabama.

On October 15, 1946, Virginia Webb said "I do" to the former U.S. Marine drill sergeant McDonald Plummer, and one year later to the day, along came Mac. McDonald Plummer Jr., that is, the only male heir to the throne.

And still later came daughter Virginia Beeland Nearing, and yet later came the final sibling of the triumvirate, Glenn Stanley Cooper, another daughter.

The Plummers have been blessed with a total of nine handsome and beautiful grandchildren, who combine forces to make for a Joyeuse Noel indeed each December at 218 Commerce.

Our main lady pulled a couple of stints with the public school system before answering the beck and call of her beloved father, the late Glenn Stanley, one of three outstanding editors of The Greenville Advocate.

When papa called, in the early 1950s, daughter Virginia responded positively and for the next twenty-six years she tended all the social needs of this area in person and in writing.

She authored the "Addenda"Social and Otherwisecolumn on a once a week basis over the period.

A rough estimate would place the number of such columns at about 1,400, enough to fill several volumes.

When she speaks of her late father, it is with the great tenderness she still feels for him and the multiplicity of top-grade qualities this gentle man exhibited during his lifetime.

Virginia Webb is a voracious reader, partially out of intellectual curiosity, and also because it's something you can do sitting down.

Her life to date certainly has not suffered any lack in the ambition department.

Viola! I give you Viola

September 20, 1990

MacGuire is the former City Editor of The Montgomery Advertiser. He resides in Greenville.