ida the spider
The irony & paradox of Ida is that she is both an enigma and a legend. Stories abound from basin street in Storyville to the five points in Manhattan. Various paramours & many a beau sabreur. Not much is known of her younger days, although several studio photographs have surfaced.
A young jellyroll morton wrote in a song, “Ida the Spider, a home divider & a men's delighter...“ [Rumor has it that they had a bit of a falling out and Ida has one of Jellyroll's diamond studded teeth in her gris gris bag.] As another songwriter, robin the hammer wrote, “...she read the cards and she rolled the rag, there was a lot of things in Ida the Spider's mojo bag...”
The following quotes were compiled from The Library of Congress' Storyville Interviews c.1934 - 1935.
“Miss Ida the Spider she got up and she got over.” miss hattie
“Oh Miss Ida was of mixed blood you know...put her right out of some society, which of course she celebrated and certainly pushed the limits of respectability with abandon. She was very vain of her bosom.” anonymous
“Ida always had her fingers in a little bit of this and that...and that's a lot of fingers. From the Blind Pigs to the best Fru Fru houses, she was queen. She was very proud of her bosoms.” kidney foot mary
“Ida, she certainly used her most 'unfortunate' birth to an advantage.” anonymous
“Oh Society...they're all so very precious aren't they? Ida and I would just love to have the swells in, (and have them leave a lot lighter I might add) with a 'thankee kindly and a y'all come back now'. If they got out of sorts or misbehaved...well, we took care of that too.” madam lulu
“Yes, yes, Ida and I were such dear friends. She was very vain of her bosom. Ida also confided in me once that her mother was a queen in Madagascar.” anonymous