Her real name was Lois. This goes back to the early to mid 1980s. We were kids growing up in Catholic School and church. It was a different era then. As we were evolving into preppy 80s kids, watching some bad, post-Bradshaw Steeler football, selling my father's produce in the inner-city Pittsburgh, and cruisin around in the 1980 VW Diesel Rabbit, there stood one character that frightened the f### out of most of us school children. We called her Crazy Mary.
I don't have much information on crazy Mary other than, she was scary as hell, and probably my first experience/encounter with the certified nuts. I even had scary dreams about her. She had long gray hair and rotting teeth. As school children, we would attend Mass (church services to those uninitiated) a lot, and many times she would be there, in the back. She'd be praying the Rosary, or mumbling some other prayers in the most psychotic fashion. I had blocked her out for many years but for some reason, today, I am thinking about her.
The story that went around, and I'm not sure if this was ever confirmed, was that her house had burnt down, and she had witnessed her family dying. This was the point, supposedly, that pushed her to the edge. Again, I'm not sure if it's true. It's just what I was told by older siblings.
One day she approached my younger brother after a half day of school. My mom was with us. For an instance I thought she was going to kill him. Instead she mumbled a blessing to him. It was quick, and my mother moved us along, politely, not spending anymore time. I think even my mom was a bit creeped out by Lois.
If you weren't scared, then you made jokes about her. The older kids were the ones with the wisecracks, but some of my bolder friends would make jokes of her, behind her back, at least. Nobody has ever come remotely close to putting the fear of the Lord in me like Crazy Mary. Her whole vibe was off. It was as if she wasn't there, and she just struck me as someone who would be capable of anything.
Eventually, she either died (well, she must be dead now) or she went into a home, and we never heard or saw her ever again. She never occupied a huge part of our lives, in fact I probably only saw her four or five times as a kid, and this was in kindergarten. This shows you what kind of impression she made on me. I'm hoping this will bring back memories to those who knew of the wacky, scary and crazy lady, the one we called, Crazy Mary.