Downer news from New Orleans this week. Ms. Martha Jane Crump Hardy, known by thousands of Tulane grads affectionately as Granny Cart Lady, passed away this week at the crazy old age of 91. The long established Granny Cart Lady Facebook group has the 411 on her passing and history at Tulane.
Granny Cart Lady (GCL) earned her moniker pushing a two-wheeled shopping cart around Tulane’s campus, attending classes pro bono. She also carried with her a collection of magnifying glasses and binoculars to read papers and class notes. She wore moo moos in public, and made gurgling smacks with her mouth when she talked in class. She and her cart became roving icons on the Uptown campus. Tulane gave GCL limited leeway in her academic pursuits, with professors allowing her to sit in on classes at their discretion. My Greek Myths and Mythology professor kicked her out of his classroom, escorting her out the room, cart and cane in tow. Others, like my Natural Disasters professor, were more tolerant of GCL.
According to her obit, along with being Tulane’s friendly ghost of education, GCL was also a religious scholar and a globe-trekker:
“The seeking of truth in religion was the mainspring of her life. From agnosticism she converted to Catholicism and was a daily communicant at Holy Name of Jesus until the Vatican II changes. She attended Christ Church and Touro Synagogue since she realized that true goodness exists in many forms. She belonged to many clubs and organizations: DAR (Spirit of 76), UDC, Colonial Dames, Opera Guild, Garden Society. She loved travel and visited most of Europe and Asia.” Huh, no doubt.
Here’s to another lost Tulane Icon. R.I.P. Granny Cart Lady