Bitty Martin & childhood friend, Leslie Tracy Swinford, began visiting Cathie Ward’s grave at Murfreesboro, Arkansas in 2015. (June 2019 photo)
Bitty and Leslie drive an hour west of Hot Springs, Arkansas to Cathie Ward's grave in Murfreesboro each year on June 24th. They always bring flowers and an angel or a skateboard replica.
Back in 1966, Cathie left her "Fifteen Toes” Nash skateboard at Leslie’s house days before she died, and Leslie kept it as a dear remembrance of her friend. Wherever Leslie moved, Cathie’s skateboard accompanied her. After the milliennium, it was lost and the amazing story of how Cathie’s skateboard came back to Leslie is disclosed in Snake Eyes: Murder in a Southern Town.
When Bitty and Leslie entered the cemetery in 2020, they were happy to see worn-out silk flowers at Cathie’s headstone, left by someone during the past year. They walked to her grave and added fresh flowers along with a miniature skateboard.
This time, unlike the past, Bitty told Cathie the chain of events that transpired after her death, the whole story boiled down into a brief synopsis. At the end of their visit, Leslie bent down, put two fingers to her lips, and then touched the headstone to give a kiss goodbye. “We’ll see you next year, Cathie,” she promised. As they began to walk away, Bitty turned and said, "I hope wherever your soul might be, it’s in another life filled with happiness and joy."