Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent Calendar - Christmas Happenings

Geneabloggers is once again hosting the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories encouraging family historians to write about their holiday traditions.  Today’s theme focuses on a family member who has a December birthday.

My maternal grandfather Orvin Owen Davis was born December 12, 1899, in Shenandoah, Virginia.  If he were living today, he would have just celebrated his 112th birthday.  I don’t think I ever knew his birth date until I read it on his funeral card in 1963.  Certainly no birthday celebration stands out.  Then again, I don’t recall ever celebrating anyone’s birthday.  Except for kids’ parties, birthdays went largely unnoticed until I was an adult when birthday parties became an excuse to get together for dinner.

But enough about that.  This is supposed to be a tribute to Granddaddy Davis.  He was the second child born to Mary Frances Jollett Davis and Walter Beriah Sylvester Davis.  (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

Dec 12, 1899 - Oct 16, 1963

They lived in a two-story white house on the corner of North Third Street and Williams Avenue in Shenandoah, Virginia. 

Later on his father built a Sears Craftsman house on Sixth Street.

Orvin and Lucille Davis 1925
standing on the right side yard of the house
on Sixth Street in Shenandoah, VA

Apparently Granddaddy was a good student, but he didn’t finish school.  Great-granddaddy Davis made the boys quit school and go to work in the family store, but the girls not only finished high school, they both graduated from college as well.

Just 2 of the monthly reports in a booklet. 

Granddaddy owned a garage in Shenandoah, Virginia, but during World War II, he moved his family to Portsmouth, Virginia, to work in the shipyard.  Granddaddy died when I was 12, but a few memories are vivid:

1.       His cigar  -- You have to look closely.  Granddaddy is on the right holding my uncle Orvin, Jr.  I don't know the other father and son.
2.       His straw hat.    It's in the previous picture along with these:

Grandaddy is almost hidden by the Sullivan girls' Easter hats.

I have Grandaddy's hat.  The top is broken.

3.       Riding in his Buick to the drug store to buy penny candy and a coke after school 
My cousin Glenn on the hood of the Buick
4.       Granddaddy calling Grandma “Old Woman” which always made me mad.  I’d fuss at him saying, “She’s not Old Woman.  She’s Grandma!” 

Check Granddaddy's hair. 
It's just like his hair in his baby picture. 


  1. Great photos. You must be very glad to have his hat as a remembrance.

  2. I am just getting into our history and just found this! I have never seen this picture of my dad on the Buick. Amazing!
    Sara Davis Shultz