Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I’m researching the oldest profession for a western short that I'm working on when I came across this epitaph from a headstone in Pioche, Nevada...
Here lies the body of Virginia Marlotte,
She was born a virgin and died a harlot.
For eighteen years she preserved her virginity
That's a damned good record for this vicinity.

It may be made up, but it certainly gave me a chuckle.


August West said...

In the 1975 film "Jaws," Quint (Robert Shaw) chanted a similar limerick: "Here lies the body of Mary Lee; died at the age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity; not a bad record for this vicinity." The screenwriters might have gotten the idea from the headstone epitaph? Sounds good anyway!

David Cranmer said...

That's where I've heard this before... Thanks August! The only difference is Virginia was a little more chaste.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yep, pretty funny. I remember Quint saying that similar thing in Jaws.

Georgie B said...

Sad part of this incredibly funny post, is that I have a friend (male) who will die a virgin.

Right now, he is the walking model for the movie "40 Year Old Virgin".

sandra seamans said...

One other thing that you have to remember about that time is the saying "Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed" There was a shortage of women in the west, so as soon a girl was "old" enough she was married off or put to "work". Women were considered little more than chattel back then. It's also the reason so many women died in childbirth back then.

Josh said...


David Cranmer said...

Charles, It's been awhile since I watched Jaws. Maybe it's time for another viewing. The best part of that movie was always the three of them (Dreyfuss, Scheider, and Robert Shaw) sitting around talking.

Georgie B, Too bad Virginia or Mary Lee isn't around to help your friend ;)

Sandra, Certainly true. I will be posting a photo in a couple of weeks of my family circa 1885 and there are nine kids in the picture!

Josh, If it's a true epitaph on a tombstone then it's even funnier.