Each year Dick Davis, son of Clara and George Davis above, sponsors a Shuffleboard Event at the Avon Park Courts. The event in 2013 was well attended and MUCH ENJOYED; all courts but one were in use.
Club President Don Rood opened the event, introduced Dick (Davis) and then called on Stan McCormack to read a poem selected by Stan from the book of poetry by George Davis. Pic to the right is of Stan and Dick. In my intro, I described the poem, Ode To Our Life Together, as the personification of the American Dream. The audience was attentive throughout and I have reason to believe all enjoyed, especially Dick! Before the poem, a short Slide Show! http://photopeach.com/album/nlbcw5 And now a Slide Show of those who did WELL in the Tournament, well enough to take home some cash!! Names added to the Slide Show: http://photopeach.com/album/9782cx 2013 11 30
Ode To Our Life Together.
My name is George Davis, born in New Sharon, Maine,
I wed a lovely lady, Clara Lewis was her name.
A life of farming and cattle we decided to choose,
With nothing to start with, we had nothing to lose.
So we bought a back farm with buildings so old
We had a hard time to keep out the cold;
And fields so run out that they wouldn’t pay,
Mow an acre of ground to get a fork full of hay.
The tools were old and of the horse drawn type
All patched up with hay wire and rusted out pipe.
The money we had was very scarce indeed
With which to buy food, fertilizer and seed.
Furniture we could afford was as old as the hills,
With cracks in the stoves that had to be filled.
We had kerosene lamps and lanterns that used oil,
And with pail and rope we drew up water to boil.
On the third of December with snow creeping in,
The stork brought us Gloria a new life to begin.
We thought she was perfect, thought love may be blind,
However, she grew up to be the right kind.
Though short of finance and equipment, we struggled on,
A year and a half later James Frederick was born.
The poor Iittle fellow whose health was so poor,
Seventeen months later he was with us no more.
Time helps heal the sorrows we all have to endure,
But for mistakes and low prices there was no cure.
Two years later we had become nicely in debt
On machinery and cattle with our obligations half met.
Then the terrible twenty-nine Depression which older people know,
Property half paid for was not worth half what we owed.
Dear Iittle Dick came along with the crash,
He was strong and rugged you could see at a flash.
It was the 9th of October the day that he came,
With hard times ahead for which he was not to blame.
Pulp at five dollars cut with axe and buck saw,
Delivered with horses and sled before the Spring thaw;
Split cordwood at four dollars piled up in their yard,
Dressed pork at four cents proves times were hard.
A year and a half later lovable Carolyn arrived,
With cute little nose and pretty blue eyes.
It was the 9th of April when the stork came so abrupt,
I used to kiss that cute little nose until she grew up.
To children of those days it was very unfair,
Money to buy toys, there was little to spare.
Then a big loaded truck that was heading for town
Went out of control and then run me down.
I was dragged twenty-eight feet under those dual wheels;
When they pulled me out little pulse could they feel.
It broke five ribs and punched three into my lung,
A long stay in the hospital was then begun.
My collar bone was broke and injured by back,
My lung filled with clotted blood and my skull was cracked.
My shoulder blade in three places was broke,
Scalp torn half off with one vicious stroke.
One year later, August first nineteen thirty-five
The last of our brood, sweet Little James Jesse arrived.
As the years passed along and we tilled the soil
Jim being the youngest was hard not to spoil.
By nineteen thirty-five things began to improve,
Wages a dollar a day, products started to move.
We got us a tractor and an intervale where crops we could grow
And our purebred cattle began to win at the show.
We fixed up our buildings, got furnace and lights,
Then a little brighter future came into sight.
By nineteen forty-four our obligations were met,
For once in our lives we had got out of debt.
Thus we arrived at a cross-road that people experience in Life,
Which one should we take to produce the least strife.
So we bought an intervale farm, three hundred acres or so,
Black road and nearer to market, easier to do business, you know.
But the buildings were no better than those of twenty years past,
They had only been patched up for the present, nothing to last.
We tore down the old buildings and built up the new
Big barns, yards, landscaping and white fences, to mention a few.
Then for this new farm we had to think of a name,
Calling it “Silver Valley Farms” would best explain.
A herd of three hundred registered cattle may seem like a lot,
With as many acres of crops on land we leased and land we bought.
One year in the fifties we took off our land
Six hundred tons of string beans, all picked by hand.
Our cattle won prizes at National, Eastern States, and Syracuse too,
Best Five Head, Premier Breeder, Premier Exhibitor, to mention a few.
50 bulls and heifers of our breeding were in demand
They sold for fancy prices at the raise of a hand.
Then the Hereford breed experienced a genetic disaster;
When dwarf calves began to show up in the pasture.
50 thirty years of good breeding came to an end
When three hundred registered cattle for beef we did send.
In place of the Herefords, the Holsteins were brought in,
With a climb up the latter again to begin.
They made state records and they won at the shows,
50 with the “Silver Shade” prefix they were ready to go.
In nineteen sixty-seven the sale average we had
Was highest in New England for which we were glad.
So for forty-odd years we worked early and late,
And our children’s contribution also was great,
But at that point in life, with our race nearly run,
Our children all married with new interests begun,
We built a retirement home on a beautiful spot
On the slope of a hill up near the top.
A hundred white birch trees on an acre and a quarter
With a beautiful view of the hills and the water.
From Silver Valley Farms and its memories we hated to go,
But our son owns it now with just as good cattle we know.
Of our four children we are exceptionally proud.
And of their most desirable merits we speak up loud.
We wish we had spent more time with them when they were small
When they had so little to play with, due to hard times and all.
As they got a little older things were not quite the same,
A few trips to the movies, a circus, now and then a ball game.
A bicycle and pony came their way one Fall
But the saddle horse named Prince they liked best of all.
Then the six of us all took a trip, over the country, together,
Through the East, South and West in all kinds of weather.
We toured New York City, Washington D.C., and Carlsbad Caverns we liked so much.
Also Sunset Crater, Montezuma Castles, Grand Canyon and such;
We waded in the Pacific, in the Rocky Mountains we traveled,
Oak Creek Canyon, Devil’s Canyon and at the Giant Redwoods we marveled.
We loved our children very much, we want them to know,
Though sometimes they questioned how much it did show.
Now we are retired we have a lot of fun.
We love Maine in summer, in winter we bask in Florida sun.
We go golfing, bowling, shuffling and visit our many good friends,
With children and grandchildren have time to spend.
Fifty years down the road of life together have gone very fast.
Places in that road we know we should have taken the “by-pass.
That highway, some uphill, some down, some rough, some smooth, .
Made our love grow stronger and our hearts it did soothe.
Now another cross-road – is there a road we can take?
We gaze down this road and that road, a decision to make.
At the first there is a sign saying, “Dead End Street,”
The next says, “Do not enter, the mud is too deep”
The third says, “Road Discontinued,” the fourth “Road Closed.”
So the message is clear, whichever one we choose.
But we have lived a full life on this beautiful earth we now tread,
And we know Father Time is waiting to cut that brittle thread.
For sooner or later we know He must;
But that we may be spared for a while, in God we trust.
At the end we hope folks will say with some measure of pride,
“They were our friends; we are glad to have known them, we are sorry they died.”
AUTHOR > GEORGE DAVIS. Former shuffler at Avon Park, FL.
Last year I included aspects of the 100th Anniversary in a very similar article >> AND had the article published in the Tampa Tribune.
Article by Stan McCormack, 2013 11 30