Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Passing of Tin Can Annie - Virgina Ann Jetton

Over the years, Charlotte has lost a number of iconic nut cases. (And I mean this in the most endearing way, as these looney birds color the landscape that make Charlotte, the Queen City.) Hugh McManaway Myers Park's Traffic Director, "The General" Uptown's Homeless Commander in Chief and so many others.

Sadly we must add "Tin Can Annie" to the list, her obituary (below) appeared in the Charlotte Observer yesterday.

Annie was hard to miss, wearing hy-test and day glow orange, often over dressed wearing parkas on summer days, she peddled her bicycle around the streets of Charlotte and would often be seen on along Central Avenue (as in the above photo) and over on Eastway Drive.

As CP remembers, she lived in a section 8 apartment off Central Avenue and collected tin cans to support her "habit". Not drugs mind you but records, vinyl records hundreds of them. I can't say for certain but I read somewhere she liked Jazz and Swing, like Benny Goodman. But that her favorite was Andy Williams' Moon River.

Yes, she was a hoarder of records and a lover of music all types. There's even a post on reddit where someone says he put a Antiseen bumper sticker on her bicycle. I'm not sure if that is funny or cruel, considering that Annie was "Several fries short of a Happy Meal", and needed her world to be just so. Order was everything to Annie.

Rumor was that her family was well off, old Charlotte money, and with a name like Jetton I suspect it was somewhat true.

Annie disappeared from our lives a few years ago due to her declining health. Some people had said she had died. I guess in a way not being able to ride her bike along the streets and buy records would be like death to her.

She lived out the last of her days in a nursing home in Mooresville, a few miles from Jetton Road and Jetton Park. Names that will be familiar to Lake Norman residents. I will hope she was well cared for and treated to day trips to buy records every so often.

And I can't help but think that in that record collection there is this single by Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart) Circa 1970

Dreamboat Annie By Heart

Heading out this morning into the sun
Riding on the diamond waves, little darlin' one

Warm wind caress her
Her lover it seems
Oh, Annie
Dreamboat Annie my little ship of dreams

Going down the city sidewalk alone in the crowd
No one knows the lonely one whose head's in the clouds

Sad faces painted over with those magazine smiles
Heading out to somewhere won't be back for a while

Virginia Ann Jetton

Virginia Ann Jetton, 73, passed away in Mooresville, NC on July 15, 2016. 

She was born in Mecklenburg County on July 1, 1943 to the late Sidney Lewis and Frances Alberta Jetton. She is survived by her sisters, Peggy Ayers and Jane Tallant. For decades, Ann graced the streets of Charlotte pedaling her beloved bicycle; with everyone she met a potential new friend, sporting one of her orange outfits, obviously keeping her visible and safe. 

When Ann set her mind to achieving something, there was no stopping her. Ann loved her music. With help from sister, Jane, Ann learned to play the piano with a marked degree of expertise. Ann manifested her love of music with an extensive collection of records, loving all genres from her hymns to rock-n-roll. 

Ann loved her family. Her favorite times were when she was involved in family gatherings, which included summers of grape-picking in her father's 3 acre grape vineyard with all the immediate family gathering at Grandmother's house. She loved picnics, spending time on the lake, and riding in her daddy's boat. Ann loved her writing, spending hours compiling lists of anything and everything, revising until they met her level of perfection. Extremely organized in her ways, she could have been a great clerical worker, thus following in her mother's footsteps. 

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 22, 2016 at Bethel Presbyterian Church, Cornelius, NC. Ann's family wishes to extend extreme gratitude to the staff and fellow residents of Brian Center- Mooresville, where she resided her last many years. Thank all of you for being Ann's friend and treating her with respect all of these years. 

Friends may leave condolences at


Phoenixsong Alysia said...

Thank you for this heartfelt and beautiful piece on Tin Can Annie. She was such a colorful character and will be missed.

The Matthews family said...

Ann was such a wonderful lady. I remember being a teenager talking to her, and taking her things she needed. She was strong for have riding her bike everyday in her orange outfit all the years she did. When my sister in law cooked she would sometimes take Ann a plate to eat, and she was always so great full. I could never understand why it was hard to get her to laugh, but when we did it was a great feeling seeing her smile. It saddens me to know she is not here, but we know she is in a better place. I wish that I could have seen her more these past few years, but the times I did I will cherish forever. Rest in peace sweet lady. You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I did notice her missing I'm glad she was cared for she was out there every day it seems. Thanks Cedar!