Written by DandTMartin4ever
Born: Myrtle Lum Alias: Lucy Carpenter (hired by Phoebe Wallingford)
Siblings: Claudia Connor - sister
Married to: Nigel Fargate (deceased) Children: Gretel Rae Cummings - daughter Kitty Shea - Surrogate daughter Kelly Cole Tyler - Surrogate daughter Brian Bodine - Ward Grandchildren: Antoinette "Skye" Chandler-Quartermaine - Rae's daughter
Occupation: Owner, Fargate Boarding House Owner, The Boutique
Myrtle Lum’s journey began in a carnival, where she was one of the many acts. Her time in the tent made her a very good judge of character. But, she never got to settle down and have a family like she would have liked. Instead, she went looking for love from town to town. Her loneliness gave way to her depression and subsequent alcoholism.
Phoebe Tyler met the vulnerable Myrtle and decided to use her for her advantage. She was hired to impersonate Lucy Carpenter, the runaway mother of Kitty Shea. Phoebe wanted Myrtle as Lucy to convince Kitty not to marry her son, Lincoln Tyler. Myrtle at first obliged, but she soon found herself actually having genuine feelings for Kitty. Kitty moved in with Myrtle and they fostered a true mother-daughter relationship.
But, her scheme met an end when Mona Kane came to visit her long lost friend only to see Myrtle. Myrtle begged Mona to let her break her deception to Kitty. Mona recognized Myrtle’s genuine affection for her “daughter.” She promised to keep quiet as long as Phoebe agreed to finally sign her divorce papers from Charles Tyler. Phoebe, knowing she would loose Lincoln if not, signed the papers. Myrtle turned to friend Nigel Fargate to tell Kitty that “Lucy” had died. Then, she quietly slipped out of town.
Lincoln would be the one to rebuild the bridge between Kitty and Myrtle. Kitty was dying of an inoperable brain tumor and called out for her mother. Myrtle obliged to Lincoln’s wishes to return. She laid by Kitty on her deathbed. Kitty admitted she knew about Myrtle’s lie but had never felt the true affections of a mother like Myrtle had given her. But, their reunion was bittersweet as Kitty died in Lincoln’s arms. Myrtle again turned to Nigel who offered his hand in marriage to the red-headed drifter. Myrtle agreed, and they married. Kitty had left her shares of The Boutique to Myrtle. Before Myrtle left town with her new husband, she hired Ellen Shepard to run the store.
Nigel died later that year and Myrtle decided to return to Pine Valley. She arrived on Lincoln’s door with a surprise guest: Kelly Cole, Kitty’s twin sister. Lincoln was astonished to see his late wife’s identical twin. But, Phoebe was even more shocked to see Myrtle back in town and in Lincoln’s home. Myrtle assured Phoebe she had no ill intent. To prove it, she opened a Boarding House in town, and she and Kelly moved there.
At The Boutique, Myrtle became fast friends with Ellen. This put Myrtle on Phoebe’s target list again. Ellen was currently in a relationship with Paul Martin, Ann Tyler’s husband. Ann had been institutionalized after the death of her daughter. Not only did Ellen have Ann’s man, but she also had her job. Myrtle protected Ellen the best she could from Phoebe’s sharp tongue.
Myrtle found an ally in Mona. They became the closest of friends. One of Myrtle’s greatest deeds was to give Mona her wedding dress and serve as witness to her union with Charles.
Kelly fell victim of her manager, Eddie Dorrance’s manipulations. She became addicted to cocaine. She would even be implicated in a drug ring. Myrtle helped her recover. Through the ordeal, Kelly and Lincoln had fallen in love. They married and soon decided to leave town to start a life away from Pine Valley. For Myrtle, it was like saying goodbye to another daughter.
No matter how Myrtle felt about Phoebe, she as not going to stand by and see her hurt. Phoebe began parading around town with Professor Langley Wallingford. Myrtle had a sense that she had met this man before. Even Langley began acting erratically around her. It all came back to her one night, he was Lenny Wlasuk, another member of her traveling carnival. Not only was he an act, but he was a known con-man. Myrtle relished the thought of revealing the truth to Phoebe, but Langley pleaded for her silence. He actually admitted that he had fallen in love with Phoebe.
Myrtle’s continuing affiliation with Langley came to heads when Verla Grubbs made her first appearance in town. Verla was Langley’s daughter that he never knew he had. Myrtle helped Verla and Langley to meet in secret away from Phoebe. Though Langley wanted everyone to know the truth, he was fearful about how Phoebe would react to another one of his lies.
Myrtle welcomed her niece, Ceara Connor, to the Boarding House. She had secretly suffered trauma as a child. She was a victim of incest. Myrtle helped her cope with the truth of her past. In the end, she gave her away at the altar to Jeremy Hunter.
When Trask Bodine got a job out of state, he turned to Myrtle for a favor. He was his little brother, Brian Bodine’s, guardian. Brian did not want to leave Pine Valley. Myrtle agreed to become his guardian until he turned eighteen and graduated from high school.
Mona and Myrtle were getting to the age of retiring and decided to become roommates. They looked into a new Condominium complex called Willow Lake Acres. Both women invested their retirement funds only to realize it was all a scam. But neither could lick their wounds for very long. Mona was diagnosed with cancer. By her bedside, Myrtle promised to watch over her daughter, Erica Kane, in case anything happened to her. Though Mona recovered from her cancer, she could not beat the clock. When Mona passed on, Myrtle kept her best friend’s dying wish.
Verla came back to Pine Valley again with great news for Myrtle: she was getting married! Myrtle agreed to fit her for a wedding dress. All the while, the women discussed about how they were going tell Langley and wondered if he would compromise his marriage to walk her down the aisle. When Langley arrived, he agreed to give his daughter away. He also revealed the truth to Phoebe who was surprisingly supportive.
Erica fell off the stage on her talk show the Cutting Edge. Myrtle recognized Erica’s erratic behavior to be that of an addiction to drugs. She confronted Erica, and helped her admit to her problem. She checked Erica in to the Betty Ford clinic.
Myrtle found love again with a new boarder Red Kilgren. Red suffered from amnesia and could not quiet figure out where he came from. Myrtle helped him recount his origins. On Christmas Eve, his wife came to the Boarding House to claim him. Myrtle said farewell and wondered about what could have been.
Llanview resident Rae Cummings came to Pine Valley following a series of clue about her birth mother. Myrtle became anxious when she realized that her greatest secret was about to compromised. While in the Carnival, Myrtle made the hard decision to put her child up for adoption. The traveling carnival was not a good way of life for her, much less a child. Myrtle ran to the courtroom in search of any records that could hide. Instead, she found Rae. Rae confronted Myrtle for her decades of lying. Myrtle could not explain why she gave Rae away, but she knew it was for the better. Myrtle and Rae decided to make a concerted effort to get to know each other better as mother and daughter. Soon Myrtle was frequently off visiting Llanview.
But, troubles at home gave Myrtle greater purpose. This was especially true for the growing tensions in the Kane home. When Bianca Montgomery came out to Erica, she kicked her out of the house. Myrtle took Bianca in. She assured her that though her mother may be harsh now, she still loved her. Slowly, mother and daughter made their way back to each other.
Myrtle’s boarders became younger and even more attractive with time. Her favorite had to be Boyd Larraby, a chemist at Enchantment. He was infatuated with Kendall Hart. But, she did not even know he existed. Myrtle told Boyd not to give up hope and that she would eventually come around.
The Boarding House had long been a sanctuary for the residents of Pine Valley, but all that was about to change when Bianca was raped by Michael Cambias within its walls. Bianca was shocked to see the Myrtle had not changed the living room after the rape. Myrtle said it was her way of coping with the incident. She would get rid of the couch as soon as she was sure that she had moved on. She needed to know that all the pain was gone.
Myrtle needed to care for Erica again when she turned to the bottle. She agreed to participate in the intervention, but she was the first to fall to Erica’s wrath. Even in her weakened state, Myrtle stayed strong to fight for Erica’s recovery. That night, she learned the tragic truth about Erica’s rape at the hands of Richard Fields. In fact, it was Erica’s father who had given her to Fields. This was the basis for the entire trauma in her life. Again, Myrtle helped Erica check into a treatment facility.
Myrtle befriended Zach Slater, the recently returned Alexander Cambias, II. For some reason, she was the only person who could break his hard shell. Myrtle helped him to understand the fragile dynamics of the Kane-Cambias bloodlines. Her greatest feat would be her greatest betrayal to Erica. She saw the love that existed between Zach and Kendall. When he was about to give up hope on her, Myrtle encouraged Zach to profess his love without any regard to what Erica would think. Soon, Zach and Kendall were engaged to be married.
Eileen Herlie (1976-present)
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