George Robert Davis married Bertha Ann Richardson March 25, 1922 in Mclean County, Kentucky in the City of Livermore. A 'Jack of all trades', he was a carpenter, brick-layer, mason, boot-legger, and chair factory worker. He worked in both local chair factories in Livermore which included Meyers Brothers and Renders. I am told that he and a Mr. Duvall made all of the present streets of Livermore. He also made the monument that commemorates the 100th anniversary of Livermore in 1937. It stands today on the river front in Livermore where it was moved to in 2001. It had previously stood in front of the doctor's office. He helped build many of the buildings in Livermore and Island including the Livermore post office, and the Present Wilkerson's Market in Island which was originally owned by Mike Pitas who immigrated to America from Greece. George also built a house on highway 136 between Livermore and Hartford that was torn down in the 1970's. The wrecking ball could not tear apart the bricks that he had laid and dynamite had to be used to tear it down. I remember that he thought that it was amusing and said that people didn't build houses like that anymore.
In the 1920's some people supported their families by making and selling moonshine. George Davis was no exception. He had hid some moonshine in kegs under his house and it was reported so officials had came to investigate. Upon a relentless search that produced nothing, the officers were going to leave when they heard loud shotgun-like noises echoing throughout the house. Everyone dropped to the floor for protection. It was the moonshine kegs blowing their seals under the house. George had to serve time in the Daviess County jail for about one year and his wife Bertha supported the family by seating chairs for the local chair factory. She also helped to slaughter hogs for people and would bring home meat in exchange for her services. Her kids called the meat 'melts and lights'. Buddy, Wimpy, and Donnie Davis told me this story.
I am Holly Kassinger Johnson, and I have written these stories from tales I have heard from my parents, aunts, and uncles. Paw-Paw Davis died when I was thirteen years old so I got to know him very well. For years my mom and dad would go to his home in the evening and help my Aunt Nadine Davis Baldwin take care of grandpa and make him supper. I have many good memories of being at his house. I can remember my Uncle Buddy and Aunt Booty Davis who lived next door coming over and Donnie Davis, Paw-paw's nephew, along with Donnie's sister Marie Caudle and mother Lula Davis. All of grandpa's children were in to see him often and it was like a huge reunion many nights out of the week. We would all stay on the front porch until dark.
Paw-paw was the funniest man I ever met. He liked to tease anyone he could get a rise out of and I happened to be one of those people. He would always call me 'Hooly' instead of Holly and he would stand in front of the T.V. when I was watching it and ask if he was in my way. He also made fun of me when I was learning to ride my bike down his hill and ran head-first into a plum tree. After I had mastered the bike I would be riding in front of his house with my friends and he would yell, "Watch out for that tree!" I was so embarrassed. One time I asked him who the first people on earth were and he told me they were his mom and dad. I believed him until mom told me that it was Adam and Eve. When I confronted him with that he said, "Oh yeah, they were my grandparents".
Theodore Wood, now deceased, told me that he knew Paw-paw well. One day they were outside of the pool room in Livermore when a man came out and tried to start his truck and it would not start. Paw-paw was laughing and the man wanted to know what was so funny. Paw-paw reached into his pocket and pulled out the man's coil wire and said, "Do you need this". He was always playing jokes on people. One time my Uncle David "Popeye" Dickerson, husband of Sis Davis, was reading the paper at the pool room and Paw-paw walked by and lit the corner of the paper with his lighter and sat down. Next thing you know the paper was flaming and Popeye threw it down and stomped it out using a few choice words for George Davis.
Speaking of pool rooms, Paw-paw was quite a pool shark. He taught his son Theadore "Buddy" Davis a few things about it. Through Buddy's life he has made some pretty good money playing pool. In fact, May of 1999, his brother Wimpy Davis entered him in a pool tournament in Livermore. After playing for some time Buddy had to sit down. He began feeling weak and started sweating and had to drop out even though he was in first place. Later he was taken to the hospital and told that he had a heart attack. His doctor came in to check on him when he was recovering from surgery and Buddy told him about the tournament and said that he came in third. The doctor said it was pretty darn good when a man can play in a pool tournament and have a heart attack and still come in third.
I remember that Paw-paw's favorite thing to eat was kraut and ribs and that he love to drink V-8. He liked chocolate covered cherries, orange slices, and chocolate drops. He also liked anything his son Wimpy Davis brought home from a hunting trip. I remember one time Wimpy brought home a deer and Paw-paw fried the tenderloin. It was the best I ever ate.
Paw-paw also liked to gamble and had a passion for drink. After he first married he would go to Central City to gamble and on one occasion he got into a fight with another man who stabbed him in the side. It is said that he had to kill the man in self defense. I am told by Donnie Lee Davis, his nephew, that he was ill for a very long time and that Granny had to nurse him back to health. He even coughed up half of his lung. Later in his life his doctor confirmed this when, after taking some chest x-rays, he asked grandpa where the other half of his lung was. It was because of his wild lifestyle that all of his friends started calling him "Wildcat".
Paw-paw also enjoyed playing cards, fishing, hunting, and he could play the french harp, spoons, and even tap dance. He taught his son Buddy how to tap dance and he is pretty good. George and Bertha's children can all sing and play some sort of instrument by ear. Granny Davis played the organ, piano, and guitar. One time she and her son Wimpy had a disagreement as to who their little bass guitar belonged to. Granny busted the guitar over the porch rail, handed it to Wimpy, and said, "O.K., It's yours. I give it to you".
While having dinner with my Aunt Nadine Davis Baldwin in May of 1999, my Uncle Wimpy Davis stopped by and had a few stories to tell. He told of a Model A truck that their family had and explained that it took two quarts of oil to go from Livermore to Calhoun, about eight miles. One time Wimpy had rewired the truck and he was driving Paw-paw on the old road between Livermore and Island. Suddenly the engine caught fire and Wimpy said the next thing he knew was Paw-paw bailed out of the truck and rolled end over end several times into a ditch before he stopped. Wimpy put out the fire and fixed the truck but Paw-paw insisted on riding in the back for the trip home. Wimpy explained that it was safe and that he had fixed it. Paw-paw said, "Yeah, you fixed it the first time too". Needless to say, he rode in the back on the way home.
Aunt Joyce Davis Willis remembers the same truck. She tells about taking her sister Judy Davis Kassinger and her cousin Janie Davis McCastlin for a ride in it one day. When she rounded the curves she never slowed down and the girls were all screaming, not only because of her crazy driving, but also because the truck had no doors and they were hanging on for life trying not to fall out of it. She even tells about a time when she got the truck sideways in the middle of the road in front of her house and could not get it started again. It happened just as the chair factory workers at the local mill were getting off from work just down the street. Mr. Meyers had to start the truck and move it for her so that all of the workers could get by and go home. Joyce's driving has greatly improved.
Uncle Wimpy also tells a story about when he and Paw-paw were working for a farmer who did not have a tractor and he wanted them to plow his field with an army jeep and a shovel. Paw-paw told Wimpy to give the tractor gas and, before Wimpy realized what was happening, his dad flew over the shovel that he was trying to guide and landed astride of the chain that hooked it to the jeep. Wimpy's dad told him to get out, "Hell, I'll drive it." Paw-paw stepped on the gas and took off so fast he was dragging Wimpy behind. Going full force, he wiped out a fence row before he finally stopped. He told Wimpy that it was the first time he had ever driven. Wimpy said, "Well Pop, you couldn't tell".
Bertha May "Sis" Davis Dickerson told me about a time when she had a friend that her mom had told her to stay away from because she was dirty all the time. Sis made up her mind that she was going to play with her anyway. Soon Granny found out because Sis had gotten lice from her. Sis says Granny chased her around the yard and cut her hair off until she was almost bald. Sis had long, beautiful, curly, black hair! So Sis decided to go where granny had thrown the hair, took a string, and tied it back on to her head. She was prancing down the street thinking, "so there, I'll show you." When Granny saw her she beat her within every inch of her life, took the hair and burned it, because Sis had gotten lice again.
Sis also tells about a time when Paw-paw's brother Clay Davis had refused to use the bathroom in the house because the backwater had came up around their toilet. People back then thought that having a bathroom in the house was dirty. Clay would walk a plank to the outhouse when he needed to, despite the fact that people told him it wasn't safe. On one such day he could be heard yelling "Brother, brother, come help me", as he called for Paw-paw. The outhouse had fallen over with Clay in it!
Lurie Gladys (Lawrence)Johnson is the daughter of Thomas Eldon Lawrence and Leona Willis and was born May 2, 1908. She is the grandmother of my husband, Tracy Johnson. Written here is her account of her life in Butler County, Kentucky.
My Mom, Leona Willis Lawrence, told me that there used to be an old grist mill which ground corn at Cromwell. She and her family went to the mill with a yoke of steers on a homemade wagon and she met Pop there. Thomas Eldon Lawrence started courting Leona when she was a young woman and took her to dances. She would go to one house and dance until midnight and then go to another and dance until morning. Mom would never let us kids go to a dance so we went to what we called play parties. When we got there they would play music and we would dance with a partner. Mom would have never let us go if she had known people were dancing.
I have a good memory of my life in Butler County and I can remember back to when I was two years old. I was told that I was a beautiful baby with curly, coal-black, hair. I can't ever remember having to be disciplined by my parents. One of my first memories happened when I was about five years old and my family was being visited by my Uncle Millard Pete Flener and Aunt Florence Willis Flener, who lived at Brooklyn near Morgantown. My parents were bragging about my being such a good child and my uncle had a saying that stuck with me for life. "Still waters run deep, the devil lies at the bottom, and if you ever stir the water up, he'll come to the top". I guess my water has never been stirred up because I can't ever remember being angry enough to have a cross word with anyone.
Another early memory I have is when my sister Lucille was born when I was about two years old and my sister May was about five years old. Pop put us in a wagon and took us to Uncle Hartford Willis's house. Aunt Prudie Cardwell Willis went to the garden and picked a few ears or corn and roasted them on the old coal stove for us to eat. When we went home we had a sister named Lucille. I called her Ceally because I could not say Lucille and I called her that for the rest of her life.
Our neighbors Hershal and Florence Haynes lived near by. Florence taught me to crochet which has been a life-long hobby. I would ravel out my father's socks and crochet lace with a hook that he had made me out of hickory bark. One day Pop got on Old Blaze, our red mare, and rode 20 miles to Morgantown. When he returned he surprised me with a shiny crochet hook and a large ball of thread. Could be he was running out of socks. I would make lace and sew it on all of my clothes and everything I could get my hands on.
I remember my first day at school well. Oval Moates was the teacher of over 80 students in one room. The school house was in Mount Lebanon and it was also a masonic lodge and a church. Pop was a secretary at the lodge and had keys to the building. When we were children we would go with him to the lodge and they would give us peanut butter. We thought that was really something. When I was a bit older the children would have ciphering matches every Friday and I would often out-do the teacher. Soon everyone wanted a bell for the church-schoolhouse so we put together a pie supper and made up money for a nice, big bell. Whenever there was a funeral the bell would be tolled for ever how many years old the deceased was. It could be heard for miles and people would stop what they were doing and wait until the ringing ended. If you knew who was sick in the neighborhood and how old they were you could count the tolls and know who had died. The bell eventually got a crack in it and was moved to the courthouse lawn in Morgantown where it sits today.
My father's parents were George Dillard Lawrence and Olleviah Hazelip. At Christmas Grandpa would dress up as Santa and bring me and my sisters candy and fruit. He would turn a coat inside-out where the red lining showed and made a right, good Santa. One time he even brought two porcelain dolls.
I had my first car ride as a young girl. The car belonged to Doctor Threlkel and was the first car in Butler County. Doctor Threlkel had three children: Paul, Anna, and Margie, who was the same age as I was. Margie was in poor health and the school teacher would let me and a few other students visit Margie during school. On one such day the Doctor brought us back to school in his Model A. I hung on really tight even though the car was slow by today's standards. We were going about fifteen miles an hour.
When I was 14 I had malaria fever and there was a doctor who treated me who lived about a mile out from us. He would ride to our farm on his horse and check on me often and charge fifty cents or sometimes nothing. He told me I had walking Typhoid. Then I went to Leitchfield to see Doctor Sherman. He told Me I had T.B. and instructed my parents to screen in our porch and hang blankets around to block the wind. I was out there in bed during the ice and snow of winter. After a while I had enough of it and I crept inside one night and went to bed. I never went back to the porch.
My home consisted of two large rooms each about sixteen foot long, and a hallway about eight foot long running between the rooms. There was a back porch and a side kitchen. We also had a smoke house, a barn for the horses and mules, and a corn crib with a corn sheller. We had cows and pigs, chickens, and some geese. When slaughter time came Pop would cut white oak which he would pull apart and make splints that we used to hang the meat and also to cane chairs. Pop would lay the meat out on shelves and cover it with salt for about a week. Then he would rinse it and hang it in the rafters of the smoke house.
We made our own molasses and had our own honey hives. All the kids would bang on pie tins to run the bees out of one hive to the other so we could harvest the honey. You know, not nary a one of us kids ever got stung.
Every year my family would plant three large gardens and put up produce. We would dig a flat place in the earth and lay hay in the hollow and then lay a layer of potatoes in. That would be covered with more hay and, finally, we would stand corn shucks on the top. We made many of these on the farm and if we ever needed potatoes we would reach in and get what we wanted. The potatoes would be good up into the spring. In fact, every spring people from all over would come to our farm and buy potatoes by the wagon load full for planting in their own gardens.
We had a fruit orchard with apple, peach, and pear trees. We put apples back in several ways. One was to lay them on a ladder on the roof and cover them with cheesecloth until they dried. Another was to layer the apples in a basket that my grandpa George Dillard Lawrence made and put sulfer in a pan beneath the basket. We would light the sulpher and smoke the apples and they were so good. Of course we canned quite a few things also. My daughter Fay has one of the baskets that Grandpa made.
Now when we was kids Mom never left us alone with my sister May. She was strict one us so mom always took May with her to work in the fields and I would watch the little ones. My sister Ceally made a school teacher. She was always out and about and everyone called her a tomboy. She loved to drive a team or a mule and work in the fields. When we were in the fields Ceally and Gusty would work and I would set in the shade because Mom and Pop said I was too poor to work. You know those kids never breathed a word about me not helping them.
When Ceally went to work in Bowling Green teaching school, our Pop gave her a checkbook. Imagine that now-a-days. She made $60 a month and gave it to Pop. We got our first radio after that, one of those big, tall ones. Pop would even stop work in the fields to come in and listen to the radio. He would never miss Amos and Andy. The year after Ceally's son Norman Ray was born was the only time she ever missed work. I raised Norman Ray while she worked and he still thinks the world of me. Ceally later died of cancer.
Now during the flu epidemic of 1918 Leori Ramour stayed with people to help. I was about ten and thankfully did not get it. Aunt Minnie Cardwell had the flu and she and her baby died. Aunt Mariah Haynes and her daughter Mattie also died with it. Aunt Mariah's boy Phil died too, all in the same week. Now Aunt Minnie, sister of my mom, Leona Willis Lawrence, lived in an old log house with Uncle Albert Cardwell who is a brother to Tootsie Cardwell that married my brother Chalmer. My Uncle Albert hunted all of the time and one time Minnie took two of his dogs and hung them in the hall till they died because she did not like him to hunt. When Aunt Minnie died of flu it wasn't but about four weeks until Uncle Albert married Florie House. He and Florie left the young ones behind. They were Allie, Agnes, Arie, Altie, and Artie. Aunt Lindy Deweese, Mom's step sister, took care of them.
I do have one really terrible memory as a young girl. The WPA was black topping the road one day and the workers heard a shot-gun go off. Uncle Albert Cardwell, who was working with the men, told them the shot came from his house. He unhooked his team and headed to the house. His fifteen year old boy had hooked a gun to the fence and tied a grass string to it and blowed his brains all over the place. They picked up his scull and brains and put them in a shoebox and buried it with him. I think he did it because his mom had died and he went home from school one day and got shut of himself. It's hard to lose your Mom. I was holding my Mom's hand when she died just like she held her mother's hand when she died.
My cousin Millard Johnson was borned in Butler County October 8, 1909 and lived there until he was eight years old. His father Charlie Johnson married my Pop's sister Prudie Lawrence. Charlie was raised by his Aunt Viney Johnson because his father died when he was a baby and his mother remarried to Marvel Heath. Viney is buried at Calhoun Cemetery in Mclean County. Charlie had half siblings named Jonnie, Callie, and Martha Heath. I can't remember the other names. Well, on the day that Uncle Charlie and Aunt Prudie moved to Mclean County we went to their house and stayed all day. They put all of their house furniture in an old wagon and tied an old cow to the back of the wagon for their trip. While we were there Uncle Phelps came over and brought a little red wagon and I stayed in it all day while Millard pulled me around the yard.
My religion is Church of Christ, "Always was, always will be". There is no music in my church, but there is a lot of singing. I was a very good singer in my day and I would often get up on the stage and sing songs for the congregation. Attending Sunday school classes was also a great enjoyment to me. I think my faith in God had helped me through the many hardships in life. When I think of Butler County I am filled with many happy memories.
A Tribute to Millard and Gladys Johnson
My cousin Millard Johnson, whom I later married, worked for our Grandpa, George Dillard Lawrence, and also for my father, Tom Lawrence, in the fields. Millard stayed at Grandpa Lawrence's house but, every minute he could spare, he was over at our house. Millard would pack me out in an old straight back chair because I was weak from Malaria. We would sit in the sun together. One summer, after the crops were done, on August 14, 1928 I was able to walk and Millard and I decided to go for a stroll. We started out to Uncle Columbus Elmor's . We would go through Grandpa's field and climb over a fence into the road. That day a bunch of us kids were together and Millard asked me to stay there in the road with him. So we sat at the edge of the road and he asked, "Gladys, will you marry me?". He wanted me to go with him to Mclean County and be his wife. I had loved Millard all my life and my heart flip-flopped because he was the only boy I could imagine spending my life with. I was 19 and Millard was 18. Mom and Pop cried and begged me not to marry him because we were first cousins, although such a thing was pretty common in the old days. I wanted to go with all my heart but I could not because of being sick with Malaria Fever. Millard told me he loved me and that I would always be his darling. When he left I pined after him waiting for a letter. Everyday Pop would go to the mail box and come back empty-handed. Then one day I spied an envelope in his pocket which he had snuck into the kitchen to Mom. I followed her to the chicken house and she was reading my letter from Millard. She told me I might as well give up any idea of marrying him. One day soon after, I got the news that Millard had married and, while my heart was broken, my parents were relieved. I told Mom I would never marry because Millard would come back for me someday.
I reckon I have loved Millard as long as I can remember. My first memories are of the two of us playing in the sand box. Many summers when Millard would come to help on the farm, we would steal away and work on our play-house. We spent many happy days there and Millard was a perfect gentleman. I made curtains for our play house and we would cut sections of moss and roll them up and put them on the floor to make a beautiful green carpet. Millard gave me my first kiss. Aunt Prudie had called us to supper at his house one night and he came over and hugged me up to him and kissed me. I was embarrassed, oh Lord yes.
When Millard left my health got better and I fed my hog and fattened and sold him. I kept the money in a cold cream jar in the cellar thinking someday Millard would come back and we could use it. I kept my sister Lucille's boy, Norman Ray, while she worked as a school teacher also. I told mom that I would never marry because Millard would come back for me someday. Yet, I had a lot of boys who courted me. When Joshua Tomes was courting me I remember walking in the cemetery with him one day and Ruell Whitinghill followed us and wanted to fight Joshua over me.
Years had passed and one night, in the summer of 1944, I dreamed that Millard came to the farm and wanted to marry me and take me home with him. On a Friday evening Millard came to the farm with his three children by his first wife who had since died. His children were Norman Ray, Shelton, and Anne. I had my suitcase all packed and was ready to marry Jim Brooks. Millard had become a big fat man and changed so much since I had seen him I could not believe it. I told him it was no use in him coming for me because I already had promised to marry Jim. I was waiting for a telegram from him because he had went to New York on a secret mission across the waters for the Army. During his visit, Millard asked me for a drink of water and then he followed me to the kitchen and hugged and kissed me right on the lips. It was then that I realized that he was the same Millard I fell in love with.
He took me riding with his mom, my aunt, Prudie. He begged me to marry him and I did not know what to do. Prudie told Millard to be quiet because he was making me sick. He parked on the side of the road and the kids stayed in the car so he could walk me the rest of the way home. He did not care one bit that I was engaged to Jim Brooks and said it would be a big mistake to marry him because we had always loved one another. I never told Jim Brooks that I married Millard. Once when I stayed with my sister Gusta and told her that I was going to marry Jim Brooks and she asked me if I loved him. I told her that I did not love him but he loved me. He was a good man and I could learn to love him. Yet, I did not like the idea of marrying Jim because he had a living wife who was named Jenna Whitinghill, a sister to Ruell Whitinghill. Jim Brooks left her after three weeks of marriage.
That Friday night Millard and his family stayed all night and into the next evening. He walked with me to the well to get a bucket of water and asked me again to marry him again. When we returned to the house my Mom was crying. So I told her, "Mom, I've got to go this time". Mom said I had her blessing but it took a while to win Pop over. He came home after I had left and said he no longer had a daughter named Gladys. A rain-shower had ended as we were leaving and a rainbow came down in the field by the house. Millard had told me before that I was his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It was a sign from God.
We married August 14, 1944, sixteen years from the day Millard had first proposed. I was 36 years old when we had our first baby boy, Glynn, in November of 1945. Millard took one look at him and told me that if all of our babies were going to be this pretty he wanted to fill the whole field in front of our house with kids. We also had two beautiful girls named Fay and Kay and another boy named Tommy. We lost two children. I miscarried one and the other, Roger Dale, was still born after I fell on some ice carrying in coal.
Millard and I lost our daughter Kay to cancer on our 52nd wedding anniversary. Not long after I lost Millard on December 9, 1996 and my son Tommy followed soon after with cancer. I don't know God's reason for still keeping me here but he must have one. I do know that I am ready to go and be with Millard and Kay and Tommy. I am not scared. I am looking forward to it. I've had a long life, and a good one. I am ready to go.
THE GIFT OF LIFE
It was a bright, sunny day on August 4th of 1970. America's soldiers were at war a world away in Vietnam. Having just left the Dollar Store in Livermore, a mother, her two daughters, and five of her grandchildren were on their way to go swimming. One daughter was driving, the other daughter sat in the middle of the front seat, and the mother held her baby grand-daughter in her lap, while her other grandchildren were in the back seat. The children were filled with excitement in anticipation of their trip. Little did everyone know that in a few short moments their lives would change forever.
A man who had had a few too many drinks pulled onto the highway in front of them. The daughter who was driving screamed and tried to avoid him, but it was too late. People who were at a nearby car wash came running when they heard the sickening crunch of metal on metal and tried to help the family best as they could.
Across town another daughter had heard that there was a horrible wreck on the highway and came to see who it was. To her horror it was her mother and two sisters and her nieces and nephews. As she got there she saw two ambulances leaving and she prayed everyone would be all right. As she gazed to the right she knew that one person did not survive. There on the ground she saw a body covered in a bloody sheet. Her eyes traveled down the sheet until she saw familiar black shoes at the end of it, her mother's shoes. She began crying and was filled with grief.
Turning away as they loaded her mother to take to the morgue she saw the car and wondered if anyone would survive. She walked over to the wreckage and gazed inside. Soon she began screaming "Oh my God, that is my niece". She reached inside to the unconscious child and held her close. Someone brought her some newspaper to wrap the bloody child with. She sat on the road-side and rocked that baby until the paramedics took her. The paramedics had thought the blood covered child was a doll and left her there.
Years later the child's mother told her that the last thing she saw before the wreck was her mother holding her child in her lap. As her mother saw the wreck was inevitable, she pushed the little one into the floor of the car. Her grandmother's heart burst on impact as she hit the dash board of the car.
Fast-forward thirty years to 2000, That little girl was me. In the lap of my grandmother, by the side of my mother, in the presence of my closest family members, and no doubt in the presence of God. So I realize that God has an amazing plan for my life. The Aunt who saved me was Bertha "Sis" Davis Dickerson and she died on November 7, of 2000. She told me this story several months before she died. I miss her dearly. She taught me to laugh and enjoy life. She taught me to paint and express myself.
How thankful I am for the Grace and the Goodness of my Lord. I see everyday as a Gift from God because that is exactly what it is. It is the most precious gift I have ever had and I am truly thankful for it. No amount of money can purchase that gift. As I am missing my very special Aunt Sis, I stand on the word of God and know it is true. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelations 21:4". This is the favorite verse of my Aunt Martine Davis Smith who passed away in March of 1997. It was read by her daughter at her funeral. Amazingly she said that one day all of her brothers and sisters would be in church together. They were when they attended her funeral. Take a moment of this busy day to thank God for all of his blessings. Here on this earth, and also, the wonderful blessing of eternal life through Jesus Christ which is yet to come.
Messages From The Other Side
After the death of my grandmother, Bertha Ann "Granny" Davis, several people in the family received messages from her. My mother, Judy Davis Kassinger, was sitting in her living room one day and feeling down because Christmas was around the corner and Granny was gone. As she was crying she glanced up and saw her mother standing inside the back door smiling at her. She said it was Granny's way of comforting her. Also my Aunt Bertha "Sis" Davis Dickerson was sitting in her parlor one night and crying and missing her mom, when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She heard her mother's voice telling her everything was going to be all right. Sis says that she ran screaming down the hall for her husband. My other aunt, Lucy Davis McCoy, says she was in bed one night when she awoke and saw Granny standing by her bed. Granny told her that her son had been in a wreck involving a train and that he would be all right. Soon after there was a knock at the door and it was someone to tell her about the wreck. She says she was never scared because she knew her mother was right. Another strange happening occurred when Lucy's daughter, Kay McCoy, was in her kitchen in Ohio. The day her Granny was killed in a car wreck in Kentucky, all of her kitchen cabinets came open and her dishes flew out. I am told of another incident where Granny and Grandpa and some of their children were sitting around the supper table. There was a jar of silverware in the middle of the table and all of the silverware jumped up and flew out of the jar. I know this sounds strange but I found these stories interesting. I have been told these stories all through my childhood and they stand out in my mind.
My grandfather, George Davis, had a brother named John. My Aunt Sis told me that he was an atheist. He would not listen to the gospel and had choice words for anyone who tried to "push" it on him. However, on his death bed, he began to call out and beg God to forgive him for his unbelief. Aunt Sis said that his bed began to shake hard for no reason and that before he died he believed and gave is heart to God.
Another incident occurred when I was twelve years old our family lost a dear cousin in a car wreck. He was a young man 28 years of age with a family and very loving to everyone. My mother, Judy Davis Kassinger, began to have a dream often of someone getting killed in our family but God would not reveal the person's face in the dream. Finally, several nights before his death, God showed her who it was. She spent many nights with no sleep and would turn all of the lights on in the house. I would sit with her and we would talk about it. She had a terrible time when he passed away. She thought she should have said something to someone about her dream. My father, Roy Thomas Kassinger, was coming home from work the mornining before the wreck and a dove flew into his truck window and was killed. He said he had a chill go through him as if something bad was going to happen. A lot of the older people have told me about birds coming into a home or dog howling outside of a window as an omen that someone would die. I don't know how true that is, but the day before one of my cousins died of a heart attack a bird flew into my front window. The bird was stunned and laid there for some time before it flew away. When I looked through the window I saw the imprint of where it had hit and it looked like an angel with spread wings. I felt then that something was going to happen. That night is when he died.
When Aunt Lula Davis, died two of my aunts saw angels flying over her bed and when her husband, Clay Davis, died he said he saw a dove flying over his bed. I do believe that God reveals things to us in dreams and with signs. Sometimes we don't know exactly why he shows us such things, perhaps to show us that he is real, or to prepare us for a hardship.
My father, Roy Thomas Kassinger, tells me that when he was a boy his grandfather was killed when a train collided with his truck in Indiana. His grandfather drove a truck and delivered produce in the 1950's. Roy's mother had a dream that night and saw the light of a train in the corner of her bedroom and heard a whistle blow. The next morning she was told of her father, Joseph Robert Stone's, death.
Now this story is not supernatural but it is strange. My great grandfather, James Jackson Kassinger was leaving the pool room here in Livermore and walking home down the train tracks. He was hard of hearing and did not hear a train coming. Well, he was hit by the train and it severed his leg from the knee down. My Uncle, Darrell Wayne Kassinger, tells me that a dog ran off with his leg and that they had to go find it. Of course back then there was no way to save the leg and I really don't know what they did with it. However, I do remember my great grandfather taking his leg off to show it to me. It scared me because I thought mine would come off too. He thought it was funny.