Myra Olander was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 1, 1954. Her father, Ronald, was a
recruiter for the Marines and her mother raised the family. Myra
always chafed at her father's parenting style and politics. She was
far more liberal than the rest of the Olander family and counted the
days until she could leave. Myra's schooling was mediocre, with her
teachers describing her as "intelligent but unmotivated." The only
area where Myra showed any effort was in art classes.
When she was fifteen, Myra acted upon her desires to leave the
Olander household and she apparently moved to Taos. Records show
that she was briefly employed by a local diner as a waitress and
then her work history becomes spotty. Throughout the years, Myra
apparently supported herself by working odd jobs, panhandling, and
selling the random piece of art. Her record shows as many as twelve
addresses in as little as two years.
In 1969, police records show that
Myra was arrested at an anti-war protest in Berkley, California. She
was released the next day and was not prosecuted.
It isn't until the late 1980s when Myra's record shows any
consistent and stable attributes of life. She was working in Memphis
at a bar on Beale Street when she was involved in a traffic
accident. "She was one of our best," said bar manager Serge Chaffin.
"She could tend bar, she didn't mind waitressing, she was willing to
do whatever we needed her do. Unfortunately, after that wreck, she
just couldn't work. Her back wouldn't let her do anything."
The traffic accident involved Myra and the Pilgrimage Moving Company. As part of the settlement, all
records involved were sealed. But acquaintances said that Myra
intended to use the money and move down into Mississippi. "She
wanted to get out of Memphis," said art gallery owner Jeana Ferrell.
"She was going to take her settlement and go down to the Oxford area
and concentrate on her art."
County Clerk records show that Myra bought her house near Yocona
in 1992. Since that time, she has been at the one address and
apparently content with being stable. She sells pieces of pottery
and ceramics at local arts and crafts fairs as well as through a
small network of shops in the northeast Mississippi area.