Memorials to Those We Love Online… My Twitter Quest

Masonic Memorial Friend to Friend

Love Has No Bounds…Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial

I started this quest on twitter to contact my old friends there, because I found two who had passed away over two years ago. I hadn’t known they passed away, because, I do not like to bother people who have unfollowed me, or who suddenly stop retweeting, or mentioning me, because I do not want them to feel threatened, put upon, or otherwise bothered by me, if I have done something to offend them or something…

After finding two that I had been quite close to, that had died, and I hadn’t known, because I didn’t want to be a bother…It broke my heart, that they may have died, thinking I did not care, or that I did not think of them, and remember the many times we had talked. It broke my heart, they may have passed, not knowing, I appreciated the short time I had gotten to know them, even though I had never met them in person, heard their voice, or seen their face. Still yet, I had gotten to know their hearts, and perhaps even more so, since I had never met them in any other context than their thoughts, and heart felt words..

It’s amazing, how close we can get to people who touch our hearts online, with their words, thoughts, and comments, made 140 characters at a time. I have found much grief, since I started this quest, a number of others have passed away. I find memorials on their twitter timelines, from their families, speaking about how those who died, had, had cancer, or some other disease that my twitter friends never spoke of, you never heard them complain, or speak of their conditions. They had gotten into twitter, and / or facebook because it helped take their minds off their pain, or sickness, talking to others, and socializing online, when they were too sick, or in too much pain, to get out among the public and mingle…I cannot bring myself to unfollow their inactive accounts. It somehow seems sacred, and a tribute to their having been. There is @STXherry whose account has been deleted, @14Kathi, @JimmyMcIver, @marknelza, @MsJeffDesigns, @PolarCoug, Bossy Monica aka @MrsDarcy119

Another who I did not know personally was pointed out to me by BOSSY Erin Cruz aka @WAGNERGIRLE is Jeff Hedgpeth aka @AlinskyDefeater God bless & Jesus keep him and his family also always…

Who knows how many others I haven’t reached yet. I will always follow them with my account, just as I will follow them some day, in death…God bless and Jesus keep them, and their families always… For the memories of those mentioned here see the end of this piece…

I know this, because I suffer from chronic back pain, from it being broken when I was a teenager, and me not finding out until I was in my 30’s, after it had so messed up the nerves in my spine. So that it was even painful, to be touched physically by others in any way. I was virtually unable to do anything, other than stand for short periods, sit for a little longer, or lay down flat on my back most of the time. It has gotten much better, since I started trusting only, and completely in the Lord to help me with it, and depending on Him to heal me of it.

I haven’t been completely healed, but it has become much more bearable, and I am able to get a decent nights sleep now. I don’t speak of it online, most do not know of this, none know how bad it is, or how bad it has been. I, like others, I have known, do not like to complain, we’d rather think of others, and try to help them with their pain, sickness, etc. They, like I, do not want sympathy, they want to be treated like everyone else, they want to love, laugh, and enjoy the life they have left. They do not want to waste it, thanking people for their sympathy, etc. They want to enjoy it, by thanking people for their friendship, the good times they enjoy, the conversations that make them, think not of themselves, but of others, and the enjoyments of life, the Lord, and His creation..

Perhaps, now, as I speak of this, I am now learning another reason, the Lord has allowed me to suffer in this condition I have dealt with most of my life, so that I could now write of it, and help others understand, what I understand, about others in my place, or their loved ones, who enjoy the time they have online with friends, friends who they have never seen, never heard their voice, nor ever seen their face, yet greater still, they have felt their hearts, touched their souls, and understood their spirits, as most people never get the chance too. This is what God gives to those, whose suffering, takes their minds elsewhere, instead of dwelling on themselves….

I am also, now able to help my dad, which means more to me than I can put into words, I love and respect my dad more than anyone else in this world. I really hadn’t expected a lot, or asked for a lot from the Lord, as far as helping me, just that I am able to bless, and help others. At least until I got married, and now, it is still more for her, than for me. She deserves nice things, and I need to be able to provide them, and to take care of her, my son, and the children. and grandchildren she brought with her into our marriage.

The Lord is good, He has helped me greatly since we got married. and I am able to do a lot more than I used to be able too. My faith is great, his work is greater, and I will get ever better with God’s grace and help.

I have shed many tears, and dealt with much grief for others, since beginning this quest, and perhaps this piece I am writing now, is where the Lord wanted it to take me. I know He guides each of my steps, my heart is His, and His love dwells there. I do not always let that love out, because far too many times still, I let myself get in the way, and fail to let Him flow through me.

I hope this gives some comfort to the many families, and people who have had to deal with the grief of losing their family members to some disease, or a sudden death, who have left a memorial to their loved ones on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media site. Know that your family members experienced much more than you know, with their adventures online, socializing with others. Your loved ones were touched to their very core by the friends they made here, and those friendships, helped them greatly to face what they dealt with, that took them away from us, far too early, but made their time here much more pleasant and bearable, as they made their way over the horizon, that we someday will also find in the distance… They were touched, and they touched many others, their work here was complete..Know they enjoyed it greatly…

God bless and Jesus keep you and yours always, and know you are always thought of, and remembered with each breath we take….

Those mentioned before in our twitter family who have left the scene before us…We loved them all dearly and know we will meet them again, when once we follow our Savior home, as they also did…

STXherry
First STXherry, Sherry from Tx who we all grew to love…How poignant one of the tweets came from, and another mentions one of the others I named above…Jimmy McIver; who as I said, was not thinking of his own condition, his only thought was of Sherry’s…
JMcIverSTXherry

STXherryMcIver2

Sherry’s last tweet said much the same as many of us on twitter use, it wasn’t a goodbye, it was simple, often we know not when we will return to get back to people who mention us, we simply know that sometime we will. Her last tweet was such….

Stxherry-2013-03-24-at-2-05-45-am

 

14Kathi
Next we have #14Kathi a transplant to Ft Smith Arkansas from California, having family there and elsewhere in Ark. where my dad was born and raised I got to know Kathi and her younger sister @OttoDeb i.e. Deborah well.

Kathi’s last tweet was a Retweet of Jonah Goldberg’s Column 14 Mar 2014The Millennials get what they asked for.”

jimmy-mciver
Next there is Jimmy McIver, all I can say is… one of the best…A note from his granddaughters and another picture:
JimmyMcIver

JimmyMcIverGdaughtersLastTweet

Next we have Mark Nel from South Africa; his loving wife put a touching memorial and tribute to him here…

Then we have Ms. Jeff who always got a kick out of surprising those on twitter with her name..
MsJeff
Her son informed us on Jan, 14th of her passing on Jan. 4th 2014

“This is Ms. Jeff’s Son Justin, sorry to say my Mom Passed away January 4th. She went in peace and the family was there with her. I know my Mom loved her Twitter family, so I thought I would let you know she passed.” Her last tweet was posted June 16, 2013 it was typical of our good friends on twitter….”Happy Father’s Day to all my twitter Family Fathers. I hope your day was awesome. Good night hugs and Blessings to all. Sweet dreams.

Last but not least we have PolarCoug

PolarCoug

Who proclaims in his profile “I’m a cool conservative penguin. If you’re looking for a liberal penguin go find another iceberg.”

The last tweet on his account comes from his daughter who set up a gofundme account Dec 28, 2014 for donations to help with funeral costs….She explains there: “On Christmas Eve morning, PolarCoug was gloriously and joyously reunited with his mother and father, and was welcomed into Paradise with the embrace of our Savior. His passing was sudden and unexpected. And while our hearts are breaking, we also take comfort in knowing that he is finally free from the debilitating pain he had been experiencing for the past 7 years. While we will miss him terribly, I look forward to the day when our family is once again together – families are forever.

Due to his unexpected passing, we were financially unprepared for the costs associated with funeral arrangements. We are seeking donations to help cover these costs. Any assistance would be forever appreciated.”

Then we have Bossy Monica She added Bossy in front of her name as many of our friends did after some leftist so-called feminist complained about men calling female bosses “Bossy” Thereby making fun of those “feminists” in America who have nothing better to do than complain about things that matter little when all things are counted and life is done…God bless & Jesus keep her and her family always. Her family put a very poignant obituary and tribute to her and her twitter followers here…

So many good ones, we know such a short time, who make such a great impact on our lives. To be remembered is a thing I think we all desire in the end…that is what matters…

As I said I did not know Jeff Hedgpeth personally so I cannot say anything about him as a person..perhaps some of you who did could send me some comments I could make a compilation of to add here to his memory…

If I find anymore of our twitter friends and family gone on before us while I am on this quest….I will add them as I find them….

 

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis

Another Inspirational Story From My Life When I Was Fourteen

Matthew5I must tell you all of a vacation my parents took my brother and I on when I was fourteen. It was meant to be a vacation to Jamaica for two weeks during Christmas break. You know fun in the sun, sailing, scuba diving, riding horses on the beach, etc., etc., Then, not long before we went, our parents informed us we were going to Haiti for a week first, and would only be in Jamaica a week. They informed us, the plans changed because some of our churches were having a fellowship meeting with the brothers and sisters in Haiti, and we would be attending. Now, being teenagers we weren’t too happy with the prospect of attending a church meeting, when we could be enjoying snorkeling, scuba, sailing, etc., so we complained and generally let our unhappiness be known, though we knew it would do us no good.

The time came and we flew out and went to Haiti, we had no idea what Haiti would be like, when we were flying in you could see the old wrecks, various iron objects and other obstacles in the surf, so we knew we most likely would not get to have fun in the ocean or go romping around on the beach. We landed and were driven to our hotel, it was called the El Presidente Hotel in Port-au-Prince. It was a grand structure, had walls 12+ inches thick made from some kind of white stucco like material. My brother and I walked through the foyer and out onto the balconies, there were three very large balconies that ran the length of the hotel and they were terraced out over the jungle in three step downs from each terrace to the next. On the third and last terrace when we got to the edge it was about a 50+ foot drop down to the floor of the jungle.

The wall around the edge of the terrace, like all the exterior hotel walls, were made from the white stucco, they were 12 plus inches thick and had pieces of broken glass bottles embedded in the top of the walls. This was kind of amazing to us, we had never seen anything like these walls with glass bottles that would cut you if you tried to climb on them. Now being the curious teenagers that we were, we found a way to get down through the terraces, by a set of steps that led us down to the jungle floor. We therefore descended these steps to see what we could find, when we reached the floor of the jungle, we couldn’t really see too much, other than the high wall to our left and a cleared area of the jungle that ran around the hotel. We then went walking around the wall to our left, till we got to where we could look around the corner.

There, we were astounded to see this middle aged native gentleman seated on a five gallon bucket, in front of him he had a pretty large rock, he was in the process of breaking up coral into powder (we assumed having been around construction our whole lives) to patch or build, more on these white stucco walls. The thing that so astounded us, he was doing this with only rocks, he was using the large rock in front of him to put smaller pieces of coral on, while pounding them to powder with the medium sized rock coral he had in his hands. This was amazing to us, this was obviously how they had made all the walls in the great and majestic hotel out of coral, not just that, but they didn’t use any mechanical equipment to do so. This was just one of the surprises we had waiting for us on our journey of discovery.

Not long after we had arrived we got to be friends with, or introduced to some of the native children that lived at the edge of the jungle just outside of, and below the hotel. They lived with other members of their family, I think there were about three or four adults, if my memory is correct. Where they lived was a little tin shack, couldn’t have been more than a twenty by twenty foot square, haphazardly; or so it seemed to us, thrown together with a few boards, nails, and covered with tin sheeting. They didn’t have any of the modern conveniences we were used to in America, they took showers outside in a little shower stall without a roof, also with tin on three sides. We would get up early and we were amazed to see what seemed like ten to fifteen children emerge from the small shack in the morning, we didn’t know how they found room to sleep.

One of the children we got to know really well, was named David, he would climb up in the tops of the tall palms around the edge of the terraces, they came up, to just about the height of the lowest terrace. At this point in the story, I will tell you in case you do not know, Haiti at the time was the second poorest nation in the world. David would climb up in these palms and clown around trying to get the tourists to throw him money, he was quite a character and my family got to know him quite well. If I remember correctly we even brought him into the hotel with us one time, because my parents wanted to give him something, might have been some clothes, can’t remember for sure. The thing about David, besides being an exceedingly sweet child, the whole time we were there the only clothes he wore, was a pair of short pants. The thing about the short pants was, they had no rear-end, the only thing left in the seat of his trousers were the seam and stitching holding it together, his buttocks were completely exposed. I remember my parents wanted to adopt him, he was amazingly creative and intelligent, he couldn’t have been more than ten years old.

The other children were not as brave as David I guess, for they didn’t attempt to climb up in the tops of the palms as David did, they would simply try to get us to throw them money down at the floor of the jungle around the outside terrace. My brother and I frequently obliged them throwing down the coins we had in our pockets, we both worked for our father in his HVAC business, so we had money of our own. In tossing change down to the others, there were probably about ten of them, I noticed the youngest and smallest one never got any of the change, and having been the youngest growing up among older boys, I had a soft spot in my heart for the youngest. I therefore attracted his attention to stay where he was, since he was some distance from the others, got them distracted with a few small coins and threw him down a quarter. He immediately scooped it up and took off through the jungle, the others realizing what I had done, took off after him. I hope still to this day he was able to keep it away from them, we left a day or two later, so I never knew for sure. I know he was fast. so I rest in the hope he did. I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything that would have made the others even meaner to him, than I had already witnessed.

During the camp meeting services we teenagers and children were not allowed to go into the church, I say church, it wasn’t like the churches you think of here in America. This was simply a large pavilion made with pillars to hold up the structure of the tin roof, and had no outside walls, so even though we were outside, it wasn’t much different than being inside, we could hear and see everything that was happening. We just weren’t able to sit on the pews under the roof and simply stood around the perimeter of the building. There wasn’t a lot of room left on the pews either, one of the other things that truly impressed us, the people were so hungry for the truth and the gospel, they doubled the amount of people you’d have seen in the pews in America, even when the pews were full here. What they did was, one person would sit back in the pew, the next would sit towards the front edge, the next sitting like the first, all the way back in the pew, so that they were staggered along the pew so more of them could sit, it was heart touching, their rapt attention of what was being said.

One of the other amazing things to my brother and I, as we were exploring around outside the pavilion while service was taking place. They had an outside toilet, which wasn’t nothing to my brother and I, since we had an outside toilet, i.e. outhouse, in the home we grew up in, when we first moved there. The houses bottom floor being built in 1896 and the top floor being built in 1906, there was no indoor plumbing until our father installed it after we moved in. I still remember what it was like when we first saw it, no one had lived there in years, it was truly like a haunted house you see in the movies, cobwebs everywhere, big snakes in cabinet drawers, etc. To get back to Haiti though, this outhouse they had was somewhat like you’d see in America in that there was a ladies bathroom and a men’s bathroom. They even had running water, so the quests could flush the toilets, however that is where the similarities ended, what really impressed us was how they obtained this running water. The running water was fed by gravity, there being two fifty five gallon barrels on the roof, one for the ladies, one for the men’s and there was a native gentleman on the roof that would take these five gallon buckets delivered to them by the native women, who carried the buckets to them on their heads. All this so the guests could have comfort, that they themselves did not enjoy.

The people were truly touching, their care and kindness, I will always remember fondly with a tender heart. One of the things that happened I had forgotten and was reminded of, a number of years ago when my parents were telling some friends about it. During the camp meeting, on one of the first nights. This native woman was selling penny candy, (or at least then it was penny candy) for people to buy in order to assuage their thirst, hunger and to protect others from your bad breath while services were going on. I remembered her well because when I first approached her about buying some of her candy, she tried to charge me a quarter each, for a penny piece of candy, not being too much of a young fool, I told her to forget it and she quickly went down to a penny on her price. I bought a bunch of candy from her, knowing me, probably a couple dollars worth.

Known among those who knew me best, I was an extremely generous soul when growing up, so I being me, I started giving candy to those native children around me during the church service, more came, I went and bought more candy, and continued to give it out to the children around me, it wasn’t long until there were what seemed like hundreds of children around wanting candy, so many that one of the ministers stood up to the pulpit and asked over the microphone “whoever is giving the native children candy, would you please stop”. I did, and the native children slowly went back to their neighborhoods.

One of the young men I met then, was about my age and we became fast friends, although I cannot remember his name now. He took it upon himself to be my “protector” and “guide”. Protector to make sure other natives didn’t take advantage of me like the candy lady had tried to do, and guide, to take me to wherever I wished to go, including into the native neighborhoods around where the church services were being held. I went with him and met many of the people, you couldn’t have asked for more genuinely sweet, good people. They lived in little comfort, the sewer consisted of a ditch that ran along the side of the thoroughfare, whether it was a road, path, or trail. Their garbage was heaped into a central pile that was continuously smoldering in the center of each neighborhood. It was really eye opening for a fourteen year old from America, it left quite an impression on me.

This young man I had met, spent the whole week with me, taking me to places most tourists never saw, he went to the markets with me and helped me with the bartering for the various souvenirs, I wanted to bring home. He was truly a good friend in the short time I knew him, one of the last things I did before I left was to give him a ten dollar bill for all the care and trouble he took for me, showing me around and helping me. I fully expect that ten dollars, if it didn’t set him up in some kind of small business, it lasted him for at least a year. Judging from what I knew of him the short time I was there, I expect he used it to further his life and made much more money from it.

One of the other things we did, some of the older church boys took some of us younger ones to what they said was a voodoo ceremony, now we were pretty skeptical, but I will say, there was this big chicken sitting on a stump not far from me, no visible ties holding it in place and all it did was move its eyes the whole time we were there, didn’t even move its head. I won’t go into detail on the other things that took place, it was pretty wild though I must say.

One of the other things I’ll tell you about it, as I mentioned the women carrying these five gallon buckets of water on their heads. My guide informed me, by the time a girl there grew to adulthood, they could carry 100 pounds on their heads. This fresh water they carried, there was one place in Port-au-Prince I saw where they could get it from, according to what I was told, the only place, was in downtown in the central square by where they had the market. The market isn’t like some market you see in America, this market was a vast complex of outdoor stalls that took up a large portion of downtown Port-au-Prince. The native women would come from miles around just to get five gallon buckets of fresh water to take back home to their families. They not only carried water in them though, they carried, sand, gravel, and numerous other things in them. The buckets weren’t the only things they carried on their heads either, they carried all of there large cumbersome loads on their heads. They would take a cloth, roll it up in a roll like a bandana, make a small circle with it to fit the crown of their heads, and would sit the buckets on these, thus creating a stable base for whatever they were carrying.

I could go on and on about my time in Haiti, I remember it so well, because of the impression it left on my young heart and mind. While I remember some things about Jamaica, I rarely go into detail about it, because it didn’t leave near the impression upon me that Haiti did, the main thing I remember fondly about Jamaica was my first time scuba diving, and the native lady who wanted to trade clothes with me on the beach because she liked my t-shirt with the smiling sun on it and the words “smile and the whole world smiles with you”. My mom bought me that t-shirt because I was always smiling when I was a youngster. Almost broke up one of my brothers school plays one time because my smiling in the audience caused my brother and the others on stage to laugh so much. Every young person in America should go to at least one country like Haiti while they are growing up, just to give them a perspective of how truly blessed they are to have been born here.

Mom and Dad, if I never told you. Thank you for changing our plans that year, you have no idea how I am touched by and hold onto the memory of the wonderful experiences I had, and the time we spent there. I love you both dearly, my life has been greatly blessed because you are my parents!

That’s enough for now, if I think of something else good to add, or think of another story. I’ll give you more when I do, things in my life spark these memories, I never know when I will be reminded of something that I have to share. Until then I will keep adding my history pieces that could be contemporary pieces in dealing with today’s problems, and other inspirational, patriotic and educational stories from history.

For another inspirational story from my life, please enjoy Never Judge a Book by it’s Cover: In memory of a great man I once knew

God bless and Jesus be with and keep you all, always!

Never Judge a Book by it’s Cover: In memory of a great man I once knew

homeless manNever Judge A Book By It’s Cover, in memory of a great man I once knew.

I have to write this in memory of a man I once knew in southern California. As I sat reading my Bible this morning, the Lord brought him back to my mind. This man, I met outside of a restaurant where my family, dad, mom, brother, and some others used to go after church. I used to go outside at times while I was waiting for the others to finish eating. I would run into various people while hanging out, waiting for the others.

One night, I met this man and started talking to him, he could quote me any scripture. It did not matter how hard I made it for him. I could give him a book, chapter and verse out of the Bible and he’d quote it to me verbatim. Even when I would make it hard for him and quote scripture myself, he could tell me exactly where it was in the Bible. I’d do things to try to trip him up, and he never failed to get it exactly right. I could quote him scriptures from various points in the Bible and he’d pick up on it. I used to marvel at how well he knew the Bible.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, 
ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be 
measured to you. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy 
brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine 
own eye? Matthew 7:!-3

The thing that really touched me, and caused me to remember him today is, you see, he was dirty, disheveled, talked to himself, and was homeless. The moral of the story, never judge a book by its cover, you may miss out on things that you marvel at your whole life, and the memory of, touches your heart as only the Lord can.

My uncle admonished me one time about how my brother and I always had friends that were low class or without class, if I had been as he admonished me to be, I would have missed out on knowing this man, who I now remember so fondly. I guess I got my love of the underdog from his sister, my mother. Moral: never avoid someone you may think beneath you, for to God, they may be above you, and you are just too blind to see, because of your high mindedness, thinking of yourself more than you are.

See, I never minded giving money to wino’s, or those who were homeless, even if I knew they would just go buy booze or whatever, as I told those who admonished me about it. Booze, etc., that is all that some of those people had, if any of them were taking advantage of me, I knew the Lord would honor my gift, whether he honored the ones who simply took advantage of me or not. Even if I felt the Lord wouldn’t honor, I would have done the same. It wasn’t up to me to judge, it was up to me, to do what the Lord laid it on my heart to do.

Another story from the same place:

Now that I have told you about him, I’ll tell you of another, I also met this younger man one night who came up to me pushing a bicycle with a flat tire, he asked me if I had five dollars so he could get it fixed. I think I gave him ten, funny thing is, I was back at the same restaurant a couple of nights later. I went outside as I normally did, and this same young man came up to me, again pushing the bike with the flat tire. He tried to give me the same story again, I laughed at him, for I was incredulous he didn’t remember me and I told him I had just given him the money to fix it a couple nights before, and I wouldn’t be fooled again. Moral of this story: Don’t be a sucker either

Burden Story Looking Back, by Florence (Burden) Harmon 1919-2013

Grandma, Grandpa, Gary (youngest son), Cindy and Christy (grand-daughters)

Grandma, Grandpa, Gary (youngest son), Cindy and Christy (grand-daughters)

In loving memory of my dear sweet grandmother Florence L. (Burden) Harmon who passed away from us yesterday (14 Nov 2013) to go away to meet the Lord Jesus; who she spent her whole life serving, and preparing for this day. A true Christian “Peace Maker” if I have ever known one. She lived her whole life preparing for the day she would be called away by the Lord Jesus. God bless her, and keep her, as she now joins grandpa, her parents, siblings, and extended family with the Lord she so loved, somewhere beyond the sunset.

Founding Father and Educator Benjamin Rush in a letter written to John Adams concerning a visit to his family homestead. This is an excerpt containing what Rush said about his visit to the family cemetery, while there. I know the feeling behind his sentiment from doing genealogy, our family history thinking of the things my ancestors faced and overcame, and visiting the graves of my ancestors. It gives you a feeling of inferiority and awe for their stamina, strength, vision and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father.

(Excerpt)

In walking over the grave-yard, I met with a head-stone, with the following inscription:

“In memory of James Rush, who departed this life March 16th, 1727, aged forty-eight years.

“I’ve tried the strength of death, at length.

And here lie under ground,
But I shall rise, above the skies,
When the last trump shall sound.”

This James Rush was my grandfather. My son, the physician, was named after him. I have often heard him spoken of as a strong-minded man, and uncommonly ingenious in his business, which was that of gunsmith. The farm still bears marks of his boring machine. My father inherited both his trade and his farm. While standing near his grave, and recollecting how much of my kindred dust surrounded it, my thoughts became confused, and it was some time before I could arrange them. Had any or all of my ancestors appeared before me, in their homespun or working dresses, (for they were all farmers or mechanics), they would probably have looked at one another, and said, ‘What means that gentleman by thus intruding upon us?’

“Dear and venerable friends! be not offended at me. I inherit your blood, and I bear the name of most of you. I come here to claim affinity with you, and to do homage to your Christian and moral virtues. It is true, my dress indicates that I move in a different sphere from that in which you have passed through life; but I have acquired and received nothing from the world which I prize so highly as the religious principles which I inherited from you, and I possess nothing that I value so much as the Innocence and purity of your characters.” Benjamin Rush; Philadelphia, July 13th 1812

(End Excerpt)

Burden Story Looking Back, by Florence (Burden) Harmon, assisted by Shirley Harmon. Contributors of information, Andrew William “Butch” Burden, my [Florence] father: His cousin, Agnes Deemer Neiss, His Nephew, Otis Burden.

My grandparents, Daniel Webster Burden and Susan Christine (Deemer) Burden, homesteaded a one-hundred sixty acre farm in the Land Run of 1891, one mile north and one-quarter east from Avery, Okla., of which the SW 40 is still in the family, owned by my sister, Mrs. Paul (Naomi Ruth) Bell of Cushing. The remaining one hundred twenty acres is owned by Herman Kluck. (edit, now back in the family) In the same land run, my great grandparents, Andrew William Deemer and his wife, Elizabeth (Metz) Deemer, homesteaded a farm at the ages of 61 and 59 respectively, in the Soonerville area, which now belongs to John and JoAnn Cargill. Andrew W. Deemer was Holland “Dutch” from Rochester, Pennsylvania, where his family was in their glass making business. Elizabeth (Metz) Deemer came from Germany as a child of (9) years. In 1864, the Deemer family moved to Johnson County Missouri, where they resided until participating in the Land Run. They had three sons; Henry, Wesley, and Jacob: six daughters, Susan Christine. Sarah, Mary, Caroline, Elizabeth and Margaret. Great-grandfather Deemer was a farmer and a professional carpenter. In 1902, they moved to Kansas, where Mrs. Deemer died shortly after, and Mr Deemer returned to Oklahoma, to live in Yale with a granddaughter, Nora Burden, until his death in 1918. Nora Burden was a dressmaker, milliner, nurse and restauranteur in Yale for many years. Great-grandfather Deemer was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic on the North side during the Civil War. Agnes Deemer Neiss, who contributed to the article, now resides in the Colonial Plaza Nursing Center of Cushing, Okla. She was the daughter of Jacob Metz Deemer, who married Dorsa Wheeler of the Cushing area, the daughter of Phillip and Sarah Emma Wheeler. Mrs. Neiss has a brother, Dennis Deemer, who now resides with a son in Phoenix, Ariz. [Burden’s originated in Scotland, Harmon’s England]

Daniel W. Burden had three brothers; John Burden of Yale, who married Susan’s sister, Margaret. Their children were Nora, Alice, Bill and a daughter who died in childbirth. The other brothers were; Charlie Burden and Freeman ‘Burden, of which not too much is known by us, and one sister, called Lude. William Burden had a brother, Eldredge, who moved to Indiana, he became a judge. Daniel’s father, William Burden, married a German woman named, Jane Utz. William Burden raised hogs in Missouri and while feeding and watching them eat, was shot by snipers during the Civil War. John, his son, then took his Dad’s Uniform and went to fight in his place.

Daniel and Susan Burden had six sons. Alfred, father of Otis Burden, Benjamin, Andrew William (Butch), Ralph, an unnamed infant who died at birth, and Raymond, one daughter, Florence. Alfred Burden as a young man, hauled lumber with a team of oxen, from Davenport, Okla. to Cushing for resale. The family resided , on the Burden Homestead until 1904, when Uncle Alfred and Grandfather Burden bought a 640 acre ranch, approximately three miles from Depew, Okla. They rented out the homestead and moved to the ranch with all the family, except Alfred who had married Mary Rice of the Avery Community and as newlyweds, moved to Colorado and lived for awhile.

Grandfather Burden bought and raised cattle on the ranch,  My father, A.W.Burden, recalls seeing a zebra graze near the cattle for two days. He never knew where it came from or where it went. He also saw a bald eagle eating a rabbit among the timber on the ranch. He walked near the eagle, scaring it, and it flew very high and disappeared. They resided at the ranch until statehood in 1907, then sold out, and moved back to the Homestead near Avery.

Grandfather, Daniel Burden, hauled freight, to and from Guthrie, for early Cushing stores, namely Carpenters and Carvers. When buying groceries and supplies for their family, they took a two day trip to Guthrie, once each month. They bought their staples in large containers, parched and ground their own coffee. My father said, “That was real coffee.” Grandfather Burden later worked for Jacob Puckett. He also served as one of the early day Sheriffs. Their first dwelling on the Homestead, was a tent, then they built a sod house, using the tent to cover it. Later, they built a log house. While living in the log house, young Benjamin kept having the stomach ache, and told his Mother, “Ma, wes go back home, dis ole log house gives me de belwy ache.” Billy Hockemyer built the first frame house. The present house was Grandpa’s and Grandma’s last home. Grandpa Burden died in 1924, at the age of 66 years. Grandma died in 1940, at the age of 81 years. She was blind with cataracts for twelve years before her death. She was a very independent person. After going blind, she used a cane to go through the house by herself. They also had a rope from the back door to the outdoor toilet, that enabled her to go and come without help. Some of the things I remember most about Grandma, before she went totally blind, she used to make delicious biscuits (double dough type), when we grandchildren would stay the night with her; also she would tell us stories at night, often time, old ghost tales, some of which she said were supposed to be true. She used to sit in her rocker and rock slowly and sing old hymns, “What a Friend”, “Only Trust Him” and others. Uncle Alfred was a very enterprising young man, always on the lookout for opportunity, when the railroad came through and Mound city was founded, later called Avery, he ran the Livery barn and operated the first taxi service. His father-in-law, Frank Rice, was the first postmaster of Mound city. Mr. Rice and G. A. Robertson were two of the earliest businessmen to settle in Mound City, moving from Baker Village because of the railroad. After living in Avery for a time, Mr. Rice moved to a farm, one half mile north of Avery, in 1910, adding a two story portion to the existing house. (Edit: This is the house I grew up in, first story was built in 1896), Uncle Alfred’s son Otis and wife, Olive, live just north of the Summit Ridge Shopping center in Cushing. Alfred and Mary Burden had four sons, Olan, deceased; Otis of Cushing; George, of California; and Francis, who died in infancy; also one daughter, Rose Mary, who died at birth. Alfred Burden died in 1967 at the age of 85 years. Mary (Rice) Burden, died in 1972, at the age of 90 years. They were residing in Cushing at the time of their death,

Mamie Florence Burden, married Tom Cunningham of Yale, where he was a Barber. He was killed very early in their marriage and there were no children. Aunt Florence lived in Yale for several years before moving to Sapulpa, where she died in 1964, at the age of 78 years. A special treat in the summertime was when my Cousin Thelma and I got to visit her and Aunt Nora in Yale.

Benjamin Burden, married Vivian Larkins; a niece of Maude Rider, an early resident of Avery. Uncle Ben passed away in 1967, at the age of 73 years, while living in Sapulpa. They had one son, by adoption, Thomas. He and family live in Sapulpa. Aunt Vivian still lives in Sapulpa.

Ralph Burden, married Lena Smith, daughter of Henry Smith, a farmer of the Cushing area. Uncle Ralph served in WWI. Their children; Thelma, deceased; Raymond, of Jenks, Okla.; Dorothy, of Sapulpa; Henry, deceased; and Donna Sue, also of Sapulpa. Aunt Lena passed away in 1951, at the age of 52 years. Uncle Ralph died in 1967, at the age of 73 years. They lived in Sapulpa at the time of their deaths.

Raymond Burden married Jewel Gentry. Uncle Ray died in 1974, at the age of 76 years. Jewel is also deceased, they lived in Sapulpa at time of death. They had two children; Raymond, of Lindsey, and Idora Sue, of Sapulpa. Of all Daniel’s and Susan’s children, only my father, A. W. Burden is living.

Grandpa Andrew "Butch" Burden

Grandpa Andrew “Butch” Burden

When my father and some of his brothers were still single, they were at a dance in Avery. They were preparing to leave and my father (Andrew “Butch” Burden) went back inside for one brother, and a man (edit: mans name has been xx’ed out I cannot read it) being drunk, jumped him and cut his left side open, piercing his lower left lung. After recovering, while still single he worked on several ranches; the Butcher Ranch near Bartlesville, and the Fowler Brothers Ranch near Ralston, Okla. to name a couple. My Dad was quite a cowboy; riding broncs, breaking horses and riding in rodeos. He was working for his brother, Alfred near Shamrock, Okla. when he met my mother, Nellie Leona Ricks, daughter of John Henry and Lula Lamar (Crawford) Ricks, whom he later married at the Creek County Courthouse, in Sapulpa, Okla. on February 12, 1919. [Ricks originated in England, Crawford Scotland] My father was born May 3, 1891 in Holden, Mo. and my Mother [Nellie Leona (Ricks) Burden] was born March 26, 1903 in Powhatan County, Arkansas. She died October 24, 1976, at the age 73 years. After their marriage, they moved one mile west of Shamrock, where my brother and I were born. In 1922, they moved into a tent on my Grandparent’s Homestead. I was born in December, 1919 and my brother, Elvin Andrew was born in October, 1921. He married a Cushing girl Georgia Lou Campbell. They have three children; Ronald, of Davenport, Okla., where he works for an Uncle, Mr. Forbes, in the bank; Richard and Marilyn, both of the Tulsa area. Elvin and Georgia Lou live in Tulsa, where he has worked at W. C. Norris Co., for almost 30 years. Later, my parents moved to the SW 40, where they lived when my brother Merle Edward was born, February, 1924. He was killed on the Railroad track, which ran through the property, In November, 1925, while trying to follow my father, who was in the wagon, taking a load of cotton to Avery. Later, my sister Irma Elva, was born, August, 1927, and she later died of diphtheria, January, 1929. Later, my parents moved several while farming for others. While living on the McMurray farm, north of Stroud, my sister, Naomi Ruth, was born in January, 1936. She married Paul D. Bell, son of Roland R. and Mamie Bell, who operated the New Method Cleaners in Cushing for several years. Earl Edward Bell, who worked for Roland Bell, at the cleaners, was residing in Tulsa, as a manager of the Picadilly Cafeteria a few years ago. He was kidnapped and murdered, following a robbery, by a former employee. Paul D. Bell now works at the VoTech School in Drumright as an instructor of Key Punch and Data Processing. Naomi Ruth and Paul have ‘ one son, Paul Eugene, who lives on his Mother’s part of the Burden farm, with his wife, Terri (Johnson) Bell and two children, Brena, a girl, and their five month old baby boy, Paul Edward Bell. Paul Eugene works at the Cushing Fire Dept. John Henry Ricks parents were Samuel W. Ricks and Priscilla Payne.

Grandma Nellie (Ricks) Burden and Grandpa Butch Burden

Grandma Nellie (Ricks) Burden and Grandpa Butch Burden

My parents, A. W. and Nellie Burden, later moved into Stroud and lived there during the Depression Years. My father worked for Bob Terry, in the Blacksmith Shop. We later returned to the SW40 portion of the Burden Homestead, which later became my Father’s inheritance. During this time, they improved and added onto the house. My Mother loved to do carpenter work, in fact, she once told a neighbor, that she would rather do that, than eat when she was hungry, She was always finding more ways to improve their homes. They lived in Tulsa for several years, where they completely remodeled the home they bought . They also helped several of their grandchildren, with improvements on their homes. While living in Tulsa, they celebrated their golden Wedding Anniversary with an open house, for their old friends and neighbors, in their previous home on the Burden Homestead. This carpentry trait has passed on down the family to me and also my daughters.
At the age of 19 years, I married Vernon E. Harmon, on June 3, 1939, son of Alonzo L. (Peanuts) Harmon and Anna Eliza (Flessa) Harmon. We lived in the Cushing area for a few years, during which our first two children, Bobby Dale. and Shirley Ann were born. We later moved to Avery, to the Tom Coleman property, which we bought, and where our third child, Elberta Kay was born. We then moved to Grand Junction, Colo, and my parents also moved there. We lived there for two years, then returned to Avery, where our two older children attended Avery School for their first year. During this year of 1945, on the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died, a tornado struck Avery, blowing out all the west windows and ruining the roof of my parents home. We later moved to the Tulsa area and then into Tulsa where we lived for several years. When Vernon retired, we returned to Avery to make our home. Vernon did carpentry work for several years before becoming Maintenance Man of Tulsa’s Northland Shopping Center for thirteen years. Anna Eliza Flessa, daughter of Henry Edward Flessa and Christine Anna Ellis. Alonzo (Peanuts) parents were John Thomas Harmon and Lucetta Jane Yost. John Thomas was the son of Absalom Harmon who married the daughter of Captain George Donner, Elizabeth, who according to family history became pregnant just before the ill fated trip west, when the family took the turn at Hastings Cutoff, Absalom and Elizabeth stayed behind due to the complications of her pregnancy. It is not clear whether they returned immediately to Illinois or whether they stayed somewhere around the Fort Bridger area until after the birth of the baby, John Thomas Harmon.

Our son, Bob, married Judy Spires of Tulsa. They have one daughter, Robin, and live in Avery. Bob is employed with Wright’s Electric in Cushing, and Judy works at Dell Telephone. Our daughter, Kay married James Rogers, of Oologah, Okla. They have three children, Cindy, Christy, and Michael. They are making their home in Jennings, Okla. They operate a concrete finishing business in the Tulsa area. Our daughter Shirley married Robert J. R. Davis, they have two sons, Richard and Robert, they have a Heating and Air Conditioning business in the Tulsa area.

My Father A. W. “Butch” Burden (1891-1979) wrote a song about Avery’s early years and declining years.

We’ll sing a song of Avery,
She used to be a town.
But old Depression hit her,
And Avery’s falling down.

East side, West side,
All around the town,
It’s plain to see,
Old Avery’s falling down.

There’s Billy in the restaurant,
Allen in the store,
Business has been sagging much,
Since 1924.

Mary was the postmiss,
While Shorty tends the store,
And Emmett’s on the corner now,
No profits anymore.

Johnny was the banker,
But found it would not pay,
Bought a barn and filled it,
Full of barley, oats, and hay.

Harry runs the station,
Altho’ there’s few cars stop,
And when they do, Old Harry boy,
is Johnny-on-the-spot.

Happy Jack, the farmer,
A man of some renown,
Says, “When they all get moved,
He’s going to farm the town.”

Friends, now do you think it fair?
I do, altho’ not quite,
Except he leaves a little patch,
For our friend, Ernie Wright.

There won’t be any Avery,
There won’t be any lights,
And where will Cecil Ditto go,
To pass away the nights.

Goodbye, goodbye, old Avery,
You’re sinking, that is true,
We’ll get Hiram Long, to sing a song,
And we will bury you.

The people written about in this song were all deceased by 1979

My Father wishes to say, “He is now in a bigger business than ever before, that of trying to serve His Lord.” by Florence L. (Burden) Harmon

Update Nov 18th: One of the many Gospel songs my grandmother wrote.

I have so much, to thank you for, Dear Jesus.
I have so much to thank you for, Precious Lord.
You gave me eyes that I might see,
A chance to someday reign with Thee.
I have so much to thank you for, Precious Lord.

I have so much, to thank you for, Dear Jesus.
I have so much to thank you for, Precious Lord.
You gave me eyes that I might see,
A chance to someday be like Thee.
I have so much to thank you for, Precious Lord.
by Florence Lorene (Burden) Harmon

As a side note: One of the wonderful ways of the Lord. In all my years of growing up in Church, this was one of my very favorite songs. I never knew it was one of the songs written by my grandmother until her funeral today. She was always so humble and unassuming, always concerned with everyone’s welfare and hoping for the best. The one thing she wanted in life was for her children and grandchildren to serve and be saved by the grace of the Lord she loved and served so truly.

I remember when I started writing poetry a number of years ago, she was very pleased that her and her fathers gift for words was passed onto another generation in her grandchildren. She made a great many contributions to the church and God’s people. One of the many things in our lives where the Lord shows His workings. The minister (Rev. Ray Leniger) of the church I grew up in, my mother and her siblings grew up with Bro. Leniger and his siblings, as well as my brother and I growing up with Bro. Leniger’s children, all of us never knowing we were actually cousins until I did Bro. Leniger’s family tree a few years after he passed away. When I found out a few years ago that we were all cousins, Grandmother related to me how she had cared for Brother Leniger’s mother when she was sick with tuberculosis.  As evidenced by the words spoken and the speakers at her funeral today, she touched a great number of lives with her own. A great many other lives with the words and songs she contributed to the Body, never seeking credit or fame for herself.

Now that I look back, the Lord must have been in the last long talk we had a few weeks ago. It was about events taking place in my life, the Lord, thanking Him for His grace and goodness on our lives. How good He is, how much we love Him, and my personal desire to please Him. That’s the main thing she wished for her family was for them to have a love for the Lord and a wish to serve Him. I thank Him now for that talk we had, I will always remember it, I cannot think of anything better we could have talked about in our last long conversation. She and her prayers will be missed, may the Lord raise up another to continue on where she ended.

Thank you Lord, she will be missed. I think they wrote the Burden story in the 1970’s for the Perkins newspaper. Thank you Lord for the time we had together, looking for the day we’ll all be together again.

I asked my grandmother the last names of the people mentioned in the Song of Avery, their last names are as follows:

Hiram Long, Cecil Ditto, Ernie Wright,

the ones without last names are as follows,

Happy Jack,(I don’t know how it is spelled, it sounds like Mc-Que-in) the farmer.

Old Harry runs the station, (Crown)

Emmett’s on the corner now (Coleman),

Shorty tends the store, (Coleman, she wasn’t sure on this)

Mary was the postmiss, (Coleman, she wasn’t sure on this)

Allen in the store, (G. A. Robertson) (note: one of his brothers was Governor)

Billy in the restaurant, (Parker)

Johnny was the banker, (Murphy)