Remembering Cousin Dave
We said farewell to cousin David Oldham in July of last year. He left us on his 61st birthday, a shock and sadness to all who knew him. His wife, Susan, held a memorial for him this week, which we were unable to attend.
However, we want to share our memories of him with Susan, his family, neighbors and friends.
Of late, we didn’t get to visit with Dave and Susan much, but when we stopped in at FS for something (where Dave worked), he would always come to the car, smiling and glad to see us.
We treasure the memory of David’s smile, his love for their donkeys and dogs, and his appreciation for the beauty of nature surrounding their home. He liked to watch the wild deer and the many hummingbirds that were drawn to their home.
“Home” was his family’s home place, where he grew up with his brothers and sisters, and took pride in its appearance, which he and Susan worked at together to maintain.
Although David was a very responsible, mature person who had worked hard all his life. He was also young at heart. He liked to tease, and one of the highlights of his life was the annual October Halloween & Festival celebration – a hot dog-roast/potluck meal and hayrides in the dark, which he and Susan hosted, assisted by Susan’s mother, who was also Dave’s buddy and valued helper – a perfect mother-in-law.
He would decorate their woods and the trail with all sorts of ghoulish, spooky, but funny, Halloween objects, including family members he “planted” along the dark hayride trail. These “spooks” would jump out of the brush when the wagon passed by, causing much screaming and laughter among the unsuspecting wagon passengers.
Another popular feature was the standing “Indian tree” that blazed from within, lighting up the night, and another favorite was the huge bonfire over which the guests would roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and just sit around the fire to visit and keep warm.
Dave would search his woods and grounds until he found just the right hollow tree for the unique, Indian Burning Tree, which became a tradition at the Oldham’s annual fall gatherings. He would haul it to the site, stand it upright and secure it with a heavy chain, then start a fire within the trunk. It was very effective on the atmosphere as it burned in the night.
Another special memory which involves a tree and one which we treasure – one day, David and Susan came over to our house to visit and brought some young evergreen tree fledglings to plant in our woods.
It began raining that morning, but David and Bill walked through our woods, planting the little trees in the rain. David saved one and planted it on Cora’s Corner near the little log cabin.
Unfortunately, wild critters ate the trees in the woods, but the tree by the cabin grew and flourished until it now stands high above cabin’s roof.
We have always called it, “David’s Tree,” and treasure the memories of David stirred by the tree’s presence. We can still picture him kneeling down in the rain and planting the little tree with his hands.
We like to think that when someone drives by the cabin on the corner, that now they will also think on the importance of family (as we do) when they see “David’s Tree.”
David was a country boy through and through, with a friendly greeting, and his genuine smile echoed the friendly sincerity of his greeting. He was intelligent, but didn’t flaunt it; he was successful, but modest.
He enjoyed gospel singing and would tap his foot and tap his fingers to the rhythm of the music. He talked of attending Overcup Church as a child.
It seems that Dave left this earth too soon, but maybe the Lord was needing another greeter with a welcoming smile at the gate of Heaven … and we look forward to seeing him again. We do miss him and treasure our memories of him.
Meeting A New Friend and Reader
As we were going to our car from having lunch last week, a lady came up to me in the parking lot and asked if I was Panzi. Since she was holding an adorable little dog in her arms, I admitted I was.
She said that she was the daughter of Evelyn Chatham (who I knew) and that she reads my “writings” every week. Her name is Darlene (Chatham) Caylor and she now lives in Indiana. She enjoys reading about the Homestead assorted critters.
She, too, has a heart for rescue animals, and the little chihuahua dog in her arms, named “Asia,” had been abused and still has the scars.
Darlene introduced me to another little rescue dog in the car. “Shyler” and is a chorkie (chihihuahua and Yorkie) and he has personality plus. He is so cute and irresistible.
No Church News This Week
But that is understandable – the 4th of July was a busy weekend and the days were a little confusing. Your church news is appreciated.
Summer Lunches for Kids…
… continue on Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at Brownstown United Methodist Church through July. The last one will be first or second week in August.
Sefton Unit HCE…
… meeting this Thursday is the annual outing. We will be going to Mennonite Homestyle Café for lunch, then on to the Weaver’s Feed and Variety Store. Be at the Brownstown High School Parking lot at 10-10:15 a.m. Reservations have already been made.
Coming & Going
Betty and Friends’ Travel Report & Comments
On Monday, June 29, Betty Miller of Brownstown, and Marsha Hipsher of Vandalia left for a trip to Oklahoma and Branson, Mo.
Arriving in Oklahoma City, the ladies were honored guests of Bob and Lisa Lee, Betty’s cousin. They relaxed, visited and later went to dinner at the Cheese Cake Factory.
Tuesday, they visited the memorial site of the bombing of the Federal Edward Murral Building. They also visited the very emotional museum .
They also toured the capital grounds, where there is a producing oil well on the front lawn.
On Wednesday, they enjoyed an Italian dinner at Gabrella’s, where, Betty said, the food and desserts were wonderful. Sixties music was performed. “We had a fabulous waiter named Oscar,’” who decided he and Betty should dance the two-step and then try their dancing skills to the Bosa-Nova. Betty advises that Marsha Hipsher should be asked about Oklahoma City’s “Banana Splits” by all who see her.
On Thursday morning, the ladies bid farewell to Bob and Lisa, and headed for Branson under beautiful blue skies.
On arriving and checking in at the motel, they visited the Amish store, bought some goodies, picked up tickets to a show and ate dinner.
After dinner, they headed for the Lawrence Welk Theatre, where they enjoyed a show, “Tribute-The Million Dollar Quartet,” consisting of Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley impersonators.
After the show, Jerry Lee, Elvis, Johnny and Carl were in the lobby to meet the crowd. A friend asked betty later, ‘What did you do in Branson this time?” to which Betty replied, “I hugged Jerry Lee Lewis, kissed Elvis and shook hands with Johnny Cash. It don’t get any better than that!”
The ladies returned late Friday afternoon.
Remembering Cousin Dave