Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Emma May Francis Henderson - February 22, 1896

Emma Mae Francis was born on February 22, 1896, in Weatherford, Texas; her father, Calvin Burgess (Byrd), was 20, and her mother, Cora Lee, was 18. She married Henry Eaf Henderson on September 28, 1913. They had three children during their marriage. She died on May 11, 1984, in Gunter, Texas, at the age of 88.

Byrd and Cora met and married in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. From there at a very young age they came to Texas and had several children, went back to to Oklahoma had several more children, then came back to Texas. Around 1910 they were in the Howe area, then they moved to Gunter. Henry's family was in the Collinsville area. Henry and Emma married September 1913 when she was 17. Oct 1914 - Blanch was born. Oct 1921 - Bonnie was born. June 1923 - Bennie was born. At first Henry and Emma moved back and forth between Gunter and Collinsville with each of their parents. They then settled in Gunter. Henry was a carpenter and farmer. Mother tells that they lived over by the Savage place while she was growing up. Byrd and Francis lived on what was called "Nigger Hill" or Strawn road today. 

At some point Henry (Pa) and Emma (Ma) bought the home place of 100 acres where I grew up. The story is told after Daddy and Mother came home from the war, Ma and Pa moved to 402 West Middleton in Sherman and let my parents have the farm to live on and farm. 

So this is where my memories start of Ma Henderson. These are just some random memories I have:

Every Saturday morning, Mother, Diana, and I would go to Sherman to visit Ma and Pa.
He would be sitting in a rocking chair beside a little chest. He would whittle off a bit of black brick chewing tobacco. She had a toothpick sticking out of her mouth that had been dipped in snuff.  No way was tobacco thought of as a sin or evil. 
Pa, Ma, Diana, and me

She was hardworking. I remember that she made her own Lye soap. We would go to the dry cleaners to get distilled water for some reason. She made her own clothes. She let us have coffee and milk with vanilla cream cookies. She had latte's before latte's were invented.  

She loved her flower beds. I remember lots of irises and chicken-and-hen plants. She had a big back yard with a little shed. There were pecan trees in the back yard. She had a rotary  lawn mower that she pushed around the yard.
Emma May Henderson

Diana and I made a many of mud pies at her house in tin plates and decorated them with little sticks. She had an old treadle sewing machine that we played at. (Diana has this sewing machine.) She taught us to make doll clothes. If we were at her house in the afternoon, our treat was the ice cream truck. We would go to the end of the block after we finally heard the music from the truck and get ice cream.

She kept peppermint stick candy for us. She had a clock that chimed that I inherited. She had another coo coo clock and a weather vane that told whether it was going to rain or not.

As children we went to her house on Christmas eve with all of Mother's family. At some point, the ugliest Santa Claus in the world would make an appearance. This is where our tradition of Santa coming on Christmas Eve was started.

Mother and her sisters were very neat and well-groomed, so I am assuming that this was also taught by Ma. I do remember that she kept a blue "rinse" on her hair to keep it from being so white.  

She always told us that she was proud of us, Jesus loved us, and to be good to our parents who also loved us.  She was very encouraging. 

Later in life, she had to leave her house in Sherman and come to Hilltop Haven, the nursing home here in Gunter.  i believe she was here about five years. It was arranged that Diana would pick her up on Sunday mornings and bring her to church. She was at First Baptist Church Gunter at a young age, moved her membership to Sherman, and then when she came back to Gunter she moved it back to FBC. Ma was one of the most Godly women ever. I believe it was 7 times a day, the perfect number, that she prayed. She was a dedicated Baptist to the very end with her spiritual and physical roots in Gunter. 

On May 11, 1984, I witnessed for the first time someone to pass from this place to a better place. We all knew that Ma was going to Heaven and that she was ready to see Jesus. I know the angels were singing as they welcomed her in. She was a Proverbs 31 wife with nobel character. This was read at her funeral, and the first time that I realized that these verses were in the Bible. I remember thinking, "Wow!  What a great description of her!" 

Emma May Henderson, Ma, thanks for the legacy and the role model that you left for our family. You were a great lady. My regret is that I did not ask more questions.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Trip to Bountiful

Last week Diana and I got the chance to go to Franklin, Tennessee, to babysit Anja and Isabel while Greg and Lisa took a trip to Canada. Even though is was a short trip, it was a very abundant trip with great emotions on different levels.

Isabel - just being charming!
First, we got to spend a lot of quality time with my two precious granddaughters. Isabel, at 7 months old, is one of the most perfect babies ever. She has a smile that will melt your heart. She will cuddle with you and laugh with you. She is a very easy baby to keep. The only thing we found was that she was not as easy to feed as we were told. She liked her bottle much more than she liked food.

Anja is two years five months with wild hair and is so funny and "smart." We had a blast playing with her. She loves to be read to. We played with her stuffed animals - Micky Mouse, Peppa Pig, and some other animal. We had a tea party, played with her shopping cart and flash cards, and played in her kitchen. We built  towers with her blocks. She loves her blankets (Binky). Bed time is not her favorite time.

Anja and her "Binky"

Second, I had done research on the Taylor family before we ever went up there. I had the idea that we were going to do some genealogy while we were there. Thursday while Anja was at daycare, Diana, Isabel, and I went about an hour north east of Franklin to an area that was once a thriving community - Taylorsville. This community was named after my GGGGF. We found the original home that was built in the early 1800's. (I will do another post about the house and family - I promise.) We went to about five old family cemeteries. We never confirmed that the Taylors were buried in any of them. I think one was a great possibility. We talked to three interesting people while there - a neighbor lady with strange dogs, a farmer with a rifle in his hand as we talked, and an extremely nice lady mail carrier. We will come back to this area on another trip to Tennessee.
Taylor Cabin - Built in 1805

Cemetery with greatest possibility of Taylor burial ground.
Third, Diana and I had fun being together. You would think that as much as we are already together, how much more can we do or experience differently. We had several laugh-out-loud, belly laughs with hot flashes or tears or both, that most people do not get to experience very often. We had atleast one of these each day that we were there. We got to eat at the historical Loveless Diner and the Sunset Diner. Both of these meals were worth writing home about.

Other than sleeping with one-eye-opened, as she called it, this was a trip to bountiful!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kennith Marlow Scoggins

Kennith Marlow Scoggins, my dad, was born on January 25, 1920. The 70 years that he lived, he enjoyed life to its fullest. As I thought about what I wanted to say, it was hard to get it down to this short space. So for this, I decided to touch on a few facets of his life.

1. He loved the land and animals. After attending Draughan's Business college and fighting in WWII, he returned to the place he loved - the farm. He took over my mom's parents land and started his life as a rancher/farmer. In his 40 years of farming, he farmed a large percentage of land around Gunter or had cows on the land. He had the patience of Job when it came to his cows.

2. He loved to hunt. The opening day of dove season was almost as big of holiday as Christmas to our family. Next would be the opening day of deer season. He was a good shot - even until the end. Tommy Kinnaird told the story that he was with Daddy on his last deer hunt to Big Bend country. Daddy told Tommy where to get that the big one would come by the stand. They were together. Sure enough, the big one came by; and Daddy told Tommy to take the shot that he was a little shaky. Tommy shot and missed. He said Uncle Kennith - your turn. BAM! One shot and the buck was dead. Tommy said he was a good shot until the very end. Many animals lost their life to Daddy.

He also loved the deer lease and the stories. Some great stories were told by Daddy and Uncle Jess.

One of the last hunts.
3. He loved to talk. Daddy never met a stranger. If someone came to Gunter looking for land, he would meet up with them and drive them around. He may have been one of Gunter's first realtors. His pay was to get to talk to someone new to tell stories to. If he was not farming, you could find him at one of the local hangouts for men - one of the gins, gas stations, the domino hall, or Martinek Grain.

After one of his first major heart attacks, he was in the hospital with a No Visitor sign on the door. The nurses realized they kept disappearing,  in which they found them in the drawer. He was taking them down, so he could have company to talk to.

Driving around was another of his past time activities. The local people knew to watch out for him. It was good that when he was alive, Gunter was still a rural community with not much traffic on 289. Today he would be run over easily.

4. He loved his family, and he wanted us around. One of the sweetest stories about him and mother was three days before he died was their wedding anniversary. He was recovering from surgery in bed at home. That morning before breakfast, he wanted Mother to bring him a one dollar bill. Of course she argued with him that he did not need it that he was not going to get to go anywhere that day. He kept on until she brought him the dollar. He had cut or torn a heart out of the Sherman Democrat and put a 50 dollar bill in it. He gave it to her and told her there was a dollar for every year they had been married - 49 years.

I could go on forever with stories about this man. He always had a twinkle in his bright blue eyes and a smile.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Joseph Carl Davis

Twenty years ago today,  January 16, 1997, Heaven gained a great man, and we lost a very special person.

I thought it would be fitting to copy the memorial that I did for him that was read at his funeral. I typed this about 5:00 AM Saturday morning after he had passed away. I didn't know that it would be read at his funeral nor that twenty years later, it would still be so accurate of the great memories we have of him.

Joseph Carl Davis

Carl came to Texas when he was 14. His stepfather and his family were painters, so he learned painting at a very early age. He also learned you had to work for what you get. When he got his first car, he was not allowed to drive it until he got insurance for it. He had to earn the money before this would happen. He learned work ethics at a very young age in life.

We met at Lake Texoma as teens. I thought he was the cutest guy I had ever met, and he knew then there was something special about me. We did not date at this time. After I graduated from high school, Diana and I moved to Gainesville for work and college. Rick and Diana were dating. Rick felt sorry for me being in Gainesville with no one to date, so he asked Carl to go to Gainesville to date me. Never did he realize that that was the beginning of a great love story. Carl was drinking and smoking at this time. He realized immediately that there was something different about our lifestyle, and he wanted what we had. He stopped drinking immediately. It took longer to break the nicotine habit; he did trade the cigarettes for chewing tobacco. When he had children later in life, he saw the importance to give this habit up. He said with God’s help and a lot of chewing gum any one can give it up. His message is do not start!

Rick didn’t realize by taking Carl to Gainesville that he was developing a new relationship that would be so binding and permanent. The Davises and Fergusons did everything together from that date on. Carl even taught Rick to sand, putty, and other painters’ tasks. Rick was always there to help when he got in a bind.

From the first date, that was it. Carl lived in Dallas, and I lived in Gainesville and then Denton. He came nightly for a home-cooked meal.

Marriage – We were too poor for an engagement ring because we had to have a transmission for the work truck.

We married at a very young age. We had just turned 20 and 23. We honeymooned at Beaver’s Bend State Park in the back of the paint truck with a camper shell. We were young and in love. Through the years when we visited Eureka Springs, we would still go back to our honeymoon spot.

Carl loved my daddy. It was a new lifestyle – hunting stories, farming, and cows. When we moved to Gunter, he got his first three cows. Peaches died this last summer. He had her for 18 years. He learned a love for the land and cattle. He watched cows for hours at the breakfast table as they grazed.

The children – He was a great father. From the time Greg was born, he always did the night feeding and put him to bed. He did the same with Chad. As the boys got older he carried on the same tradition of putting the boys to bed every night and saying their prayers together. He had d a strong faith in God, and he wanted the boys to see this. He loved Jenna and Justin, also. On weekends and summers, if they were not around, he would ask where they were.

He knew his business well. He was a very successful painter. People would literally wait a year or two on him just to have him paint their house. Usually the people who didn’t have the patience would end up calling and complain about the other painters. He knew colors. He could match or do anything, He had a critical eye and was always looking and critiquing. He could paint anything. He never learned to say “No!” and that is why he had to work so hard, He always said there might be a day when he needed that person, so he tried to keep everyone happy, He might go to two or three places in a day, He died doing what de did best. The spray gun was still in his hand.

He wanted the boys to learn his work ethics. He had started taking them to work this last summer, He wanted them to learn the trade, but he wanted them to go to college. He wanted the painting to be on the side or something to fall back to.

He worked hard but never, never complained, He might work 21 or more days straight without a day off, But he found time for going out to eat and church. He felt bad about working on Sunday mornings, but he would try to be there on Sunday nights when he did, He was never too tired to go out to eat, He may have worked 12 hours a day, but all he needed was a shower and he was ready to go to Sherman.

He was a good person. Not only did he not complain, he did not get upset. Very few people ever saw him mad. The boys, with bouncing basketballs in house while he was watching TV, would sometimes irritate him. But in life in general, he was a very laid back person, He did not live by a clock. He was always late, because he did not rush. He did not talk about people. He was a very positive person.

He loved music. He worked to the radio, He sang in the choir, and he loved to go to musicals. He loved the music shows in the Ozarks. He had a great ear for music, He knew who was on tune and who was off – ME!

He loved his farm -the cows, the grass, and the hay. When he first planted the grass out there, he went every day to see if it was growing. He took the family to see his grass. Someone finally told him it would be months before he ever saw his blue-stem grass. He got his lake built this year.

He provided for us well, but he never had money with him. He died with 36 cents on him. His favorite line was – “no money.”

He loved to go to stores. He was a shopper whether it was for groceries or a new shirt. We would always go to the grocery store after eating out on Saturday nights. He loved to walk malls and go to Wal-Mart. What a match for me!

He liked children and teenagers. He enjoyed all the senior activities, the banquets, the proms, the senior trips, the concessions stands, the FHA parties, and outings. He missed this with my new job.

He loved to travel and see God’s country, although the Ozark Mountains were always his favorite. He loved amusement parks, and we went to many.

He this last year picked up a new sport with the boys. He developed a love for golf, and he even bought a set of clubs.

He loved the church and God. He tried the other side of life, and he knew that true life was only found with a relationship with God. He had a strong faith in God. He always gave his success as a painter to God. He believed in giving God his portion.

He was a family man and he loved me. I was his best friend. There was nothing he would not do for me. He was close to being a perfect husband. He would rather be with us than anything or anyone else. He would always set with me at ballgames or where ever we were. He was a good husband. We made the bed together every morning. We said a husband and wife who share this - will share everything and will stay together.

He loved the simple things in life – cows, grass, music, God and family, He had a big heart, and he never tried to impress anyone. He worked hard, but he played hard. He truly enjoyed life. There are no regrets.

If he had a few last words, it would be to tell you to live your life as this was your last day so that you don’t have any regrets. He would also say to have a strong relationship with God and have strong family ties.

Written by Marilyn Davis January 18, 1997

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

As this new year starts, I will have some of the similar goals (resolutions) that I always have

  • be kinder - more loving
  • closer to God - Pray more
  • read more books
  • photography
  • genealogy
  • lose weight
  • travel to new places
  • etc.....
However, this year I am going to BLOG more personal stories, including pictures. Last year, I did not take the time to blog much. So now that I put it in print, I am committed to this. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas 2016

We finally got to celebrate Christmas. We did this on December 30. By postponing it, we gained Chad and Tara. We had a great afternoon of food, games, and laughter. The games consisted of building towers with marshmallows and dried spaghetti, paper plate artwork on top of our heads, Christmas Scattergories, tossing marshmallows in cups tied to the top of our heads, and Family Feud.

It does not matter the day, just that you find the time to spend moments with the ones you love.

Christmas 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The End of 2016

I only have two months to catch up, which is better than I have done the rest of 2016. This should be easy. LOL

The best news is that Chad and Tara are home from Singapore (to stay - even though they came home kicking and crying because they did not want to). This mom is thrilled to death; not because I will see them that much, but at least they are on my side of the world, and if I need to get to them, I can.

We watched a lot of Friday Night lights. Sixteen perfect games that ended with a state title. The Gunter Tigers had a great memorable year. For the Lowe boys, it was a great ride. Peyton, a Freshman, and Zach, a Junior, were key players throughout the season. The final game was played at Jerry's World with me on the 50 yard line - three rows up.

December 3-4 was my time with my boys. We had Marlow's first birthday party in Mansfield, where we all got to see Tara the first time after arriving back in the states. Then on Sunday, we went to Highland Park Lutheran Church for Isabel to be Christened. Then we went to brunch at a Vietnamese restaurant in uptown.

Diana and I knew that it was going to be crazy during the holidays, so we started decorating for Christmas the first of November. We just didn't realize how crazy it really would be. None of my family were around for Thanksgiving and Diana's kids worked, so we did a Brisket meal on Saturday night for our family Thanksgiving. We played football on Friday, as we did every Friday through December.

Christmas was even crazier. None of my kids were going to here, so to accommodate Diana's kids we were going to do Christmas on December 23. However, our plans were changed because she had to have an emergency appendectomy that night. So we got to spend two days at the hospital. Christmas Eve after we got her home, we had Christmas at Brandy's with the girls. Christmas Day was just Rick and I. Our Christmas Meal came from the Jack in the Box at the Shell station on 1417 in Sherman. The Jumbo Jack ended up being our best Christmas meal during the holidays. We are rescheduling our Christmas to December 30.

After the state game on Thursday, we left Friday morning to take all of Rick's kids and grandkids to the cabin and skiing. It was windy driving on Friday, and then it snowed 6 inches on Saturday to make it great for sledding at the cabin. Sunday we went to Red River for skiing which was perfect - great snow and no lines. Monday was our driving around day and picture day. We saw bucks, does, turkeys, bison, antelope, and donkeys.

The only concert we attended during the month was Dolly Parton. She talked about God and Country, told great stories, and sang many of our favorites. It was a great three hour concert.

As I end all my post - Life is still good, and I am still blessed.