Peanut Dude steps up to help Miss Shirley one last time

Miss Shirley

By Lara

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- "Peanut Dude" Chris Bible says love is all he needs to give back. He says he tries to help others when he can, and that's how he met and came to help Miss Shirley.

Bible says it was chance that caused him to meet Shirley Purnell in one of her greatest times of need.

It was just over a year ago that he saw her stuck on a sidewalk in downtown Charleston. She was in her motorized wheelchair with groceries on her back -- but the batteries in her wheelchair were dead.

"The cop's doing her thing. Miss Shirley just looks down like this, and I said to myself, 'You know baby, not on my watch,'" Bible recalled of meeting Miss Shirley.

Where many people would drive by, Bible stopped, loaded her wheelchair into the bed of his truck and Miss Shirley in the front seat. A short drive later, Bible had a new friend he vowed to help -- and he did.

While many see Bible as just the Peanut Dude, to Miss Shirley he was a God-send.

Bible used his boiled peanut stand on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant to raise enough money to buy two new batteries for Miss Shirley, and some spending money.

It's that love that keeps Miss Shirley in Bible's heart now. But this week, Bible was called to a higher mission for Miss Shirley.

After suffering with diabetes, osteoporosis, embolism, arthritis, and gout for several years, she passed away a week ago. Her family had little money to pay her final expenses.

"To be called to another higher opportunity to shine, and then not even say...," Bible said. "It's never a yes or a no, it's 'How are we going to do this one?'"

Bible had just three days to raise $2,000 to help Miss Shirley's family.

He needed a miracle, and it came in the form of love and good will from the community. He raised the money in two days selling his children's book, "How the Peanut Dude Found Gratitude."

"We love how we can love to the capacity of which the resources we control allow us to love," he said.

Miss Shirley was laid to rest Friday at Scott's Mortuary in Moncks Corner, but she lives on with the Peanut Dude and his book. Both can be found on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant by the GDC home furnishings store.

Interested in buying the Peanut Dude's book? It's available online.

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