Aunt Gertie on Life: Aunt Gertie meets the silver and gold ‘Lady Luck’

“Lady Luck” and Aunt Gertie (on left).

Aunt Gertie needed some heart tablets when she saw the picture of “Lady Luck” with 3,261 silver dollars in her fancy dress and 28, twenty-dollar gold pieces for her belt. Aunt Gertie could play the nickel machines for days with all those coins. Maybe Aunt Gertie could nab a few from the bottom. Why hell, they’d never miss ’em. Uh oh! They’re all watching. It’s that damn purple day dress—can’t get away with a doggone thing. Sheesh!

“Lady Luck” is 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide and sits in the bar of the Silver Queen Hotel in Virginia City, Nevada. She was made to celebrate the glory days of mining and the historic Comstock Lode, which turned out to be the richest silver deposit in American history and helped finance the Civil War.

I left the Silver Queen, walked down the squeaky wooden planks and felt right at home. They had a Gunfight Show and I was hopin’ one of the handsome gun fighters would have his way with me. I pulled up my day dress, flashed one of my gams, waved my cane and yelled, “hey handsome,” to try and get his attention but he ran the other way. Aunt Gertie can’t get a break! Dang!

I spotted a crusty ol’ coot in front of the Bucket of Blood Saloon and he wondered where I was going. I told him, “New York City,” and he asked me why, so I said, “I’m going to walk around Times Square and go to some plays because Aunt Gertie belongs on Broadway!” Right away he asks for a picture, so I smiled and said, “You just snap away honey!” Finally, “Lady Luck” gave me a break! I was beaming!

Virginia City loved Aunt Gertie! I waved good-bye and headed down the hill back to Reno to continue my journey.

Karen Hadley, creator of Aunt Gertie, can be reached by surface mail at Karen Hadley, PO Box 34, Seal Beach, CA 90740 or email at