Category Archives: Fathers

Momma’s Day Lily Seen Through Daddy’s Lens, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Day Lilly of 06 06 2012

I’m a few minutes late, but in honor of Father’s Day I wanted to post a picture of one of Momma’s day lilies…

Huh, I know you’re asking? In honor of Father’s Day?

YepSmile 

As I explained a couple of weeks ago Mom’s been under the weather and in the hospital so Daddy and I have been doing “garden” duty for Momma.

Keep in mind Daddy was a mechanical engineer/project manager who retired and became a pastor, then retired again and now does freelance engineering from his home office so this gardening thing hasn’t always been at the top of his list. He’s like the Engergizer bunny despite having bypass surgery, a pacemaker, knee surgery…oh, and like his oldest daughter (yours truly) he’s a cancer survivor. (I’m not going to tell his age, because like me he’s very young for his age Winking smile)

We grow us mountain folk tough and resilient in East Tennessee, back where we come from…

So, now Daddy is also doing some Ansel Adams tinkering around the place  and cooking…and as I took a stroll around the yard with him today I could tell he was enjoying the finer details of the green and growing…it’s kinda like engineering from the dirt up, just with different dynamics…

I think they call that being a Renaissance Man…

A few days ago when Daddy was out in the yard, he took some pictures of Mom’s day lilies and he captured this gorgeous blossom at its peak. It’s just too pretty not to share

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy…I love you…

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

 

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Filed under Alabama, Backyards, Daddy, Day Lilies, Father's Day, Fathers, Flowers, Horticulture, Photography, Picture of the Day, Plants

Happy Birthday, Daddy, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Jonas & Boys

It just so happens that the last few days I have been doing a little research on my East Tennessee and Western North Carolina “roots”. This picture celebrates two really big reasons I have those roots I love so much…my Papaw Hicks and my Daddy.

Of course, my Papaw is the proud dad of the three strapping lads and two of the boys are my Uncle JH and Uncle Lee. My Daddy is the youngest lad in this picture and today just happens to be his birthday and I thought what a happy convergence of timing…birthdays and genealogy research.

It is through my Daddy I’m related to the Walker/Culbertson, Dunn, Henry, Shields lines of Blount County in East Tennessee. Through his Momma those roots spread out into Western North Carolina and include the Allman/Lunsford, Killian, Whitner lines.

As I’ve explained in some of my blogs, East Tennessee was one of the places in the US that was as the Good Book puts it, “a house divided against itself”. That meant during that nasty scuffle called the War Between the States or the Civil War or just “The Wawh” there were members from some families that fought on both sides. I’m sure that cause some uncomfortable family get togethers…

And, being independent minded mountain folk that we were, that also means I have search hard, I mean really hard, and high and low to find me a bonafide CSA relative…and that’s on both sides of the family…and folks, we’re really Southern…no kidding! Just asked my southwestern husband who still has to ask me to spell what I’m saying sometimes because he’s still learning Southern…but, my search for that soldier in grey has been, ummm, I’ll put it this way for polite society…not fruitful so far…

Well, I can now say, thanks to Daddy’s Momma’s Western North Carolina roots I have now entered our name into the glorified and honored rolls of those who had kin that served the CSA. So, Happy Birthday, Daddy. And, all this time we just thought Mamaw was Indian…

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Allman Genealogy, Birthday, CSA family member, Daddy, Dunn, East Tennessee Heritage, Family, Fathers, genealogy, Hicks, Killian, Lunsford Genealogy, Photography, Picture of the Day, Shields Genealogy, Walker, Western North Carolina Heritage, Whitner

The BamaSteelMagnolia(TM) Diaries – Chapter 1: Cupcake…or Happy Birthday to Me…, by Beverly Hicks Burch

The BamaSteelMagnolia™ Diaries – Chapter 1

Cupcake…or Happy Birthday to Me…

By Beverly Hicks Burch

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On an early January morning, I entered this world as the first born daughter of a young East Tennessee couple. I had been, at first, what Momma thought was a bad case of flu. (That probably should have been Momma and Daddy’s first inclination I was going to be their “why” child…)

My arrival was on the second day of the New Year. Now, in the little East Tennessee town where I was born, back then being born the first baby of the New Year was a big deal. It came with a certain “15 minutes of fame” mantle which included a package of goodies. I missed Day One by a few scant hours…

Of course being the baby born on the second day meant you got to lay in the crib next to the winner…and that’s about as good as it got. As a result, the course for my personal motto was set at that tender age. That motto is, “A day late and a dollar short…” Kinda been the story of my life many times. The fact I was also born on a Saturday just reinforces my plight because we all know “Saturday’s child works hard for his living…”

Momma and Daddy were childhood and high school sweethearts. She was 15 and he was 16 when they first laid eyes on each other…at a church meeting as they were called back then. She was the pastor’s daughter…a PK…a shy and quiet one. Once they laid eyes on each other, that was pretty much it…it was over for other contenders…male or female.

Mom was smitten by the tall, handsome kid with shiny black hair, dove gray eyes, velvety long eye lashes, the brain of a whiz kid, hands and feet of a giant (my son would later inherit those) and a smooth baritone voice he would use to serenade her under her bedroom window.

Daddy was Momma’s rock star. I have to admit he was a hunky young thing…I can’t tell you what it’s like to be in the third grade and all you friends have giddy crushes on you Dad! Many of my schoolgirl friends thought Daddy looked like Elvis.

Oakley Hicks ROTC Picture

Daddy’s ROTC Picture

That perception of Daddy pretty much followed me all my life…sometimes even to my place of employment. Back about 1977 or 1978 I happened to work for one of the largest banks in Birmingham, AL. One day they floated me for a day to the branch just a few blocks from Daddy’s office.

Around lunch time I happened to look up and see Daddy loping across the lobby in those big long strides of his (I needed to take two or three to his one). He had that look of determined, focused concentration he has when he’s got a task on his mind…it’s like tunnel vision…”I’m going from point A to point B in a direct straight line”…it’s an engineer thing…

I couldn’t help but grin when I looked up and saw Daddy…and that’s who I saw…Daddy. (I will always see Daddy just like no matter how old I am he will always see his little girl, or as he calls me “his little Texas girl because I had my second birthday in Fort Worth”.)

Beverly Faith Hicks  2 Jan 1956

The Little Texas Girl – I still have that table

Ok…back to the bank and the 1970’s…Daddy looked over, saw me, grinned, threw up his hand and waved and kept going in that direct straight line to a teller in an adjacent teller station, took care of his banking, turned to walk out, grinned, waved at me and left.

The minute he was gone some young thing (a fellow teller) came running over to me all giddy and flushed and asked, “Who was that man that was flirting with you?!” I thought she was going to swoon…

My eyes had to have popped out of my head at the speed of light and were about the size of half dollars. I reared back, puffed my chest out like a puffer fish, looked at the giddy little “gold digger” and stated surely and firmly, “That was no MAN, that was my Daddy…and he was a wife at home…my Momma.” Yep, us Southern gals watch out for our own…

Oakley Christmas 1975

The Daddy that came to the bank…

Her mouth flung open and I could have sworn I saw teeth falling out of her gaping mouth. As she was picking them up off the floor she mumbled something like, “Your father?! That can’t be! He doesn’t look old enough to have a daughter you age.” (I was barely past the age of “majority” myself! Give me a break sister bimbo!)

Of course Momma was easy on Daddy’s eyes. Momma was a dark haired beauty. To hear Daddy tell the story her big ol’ doe eyes (that’s big brown eyes in Daddy-speak) caught his attention and heart real fast. Momma was a tiny little thing and smart as a whip even though she was quiet. Like all steel magnolias Momma has a hidden iron will and strength that has seen her through difficult times and her man admires and loves that…and she can be feisty, too.

Juanita Ima-jean McGee (Hicks)

The Girl with the Big Ol’ Doe Eyes…

So, Momma and Daddy were an item all through high school…till both of them graduated…a little over four years. Yes, I said four years.

The fact that Momma’s two sisters adored Daddy like a brother and her pastor father was very fond of and approved of Daddy were all certainly in Daddy’s favor. Even if they hadn’t, I don’t think it would have matter…Daddy was the one for Momma. Momma exhibited the perfect example of the song “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” a long time before the Supreme’s even thought about singing it…

When you look at my parents you probably think totally down the line traditional, but they would surprise you! There has been a time or two when Momma and Daddy have bucked the system and done things their way as Frank would say.

Yep, they surprised everyone when they eloped! They had planned on keeping it a secret for a while and Momma was going to continue to live with her folks while Daddy continued his studies at the University of Tennessee in engineering. But some how one of Mom’s younger sisters found out the big secret and being the typical little sister couldn’t keep a secret. The cat was out of the bag and once it was there was no keeping the newlyweds apart.

Oakley Hicks and Juanita McGee Early 1950's

The Way They Were…

Well, you guessed it…about three months later Momma came down with that really bad case of the flu. It just wouldn’t go away and she finally went to the doctor. The doctor let her know pretty fast the flu was going to last about another nine months…you got it…it was me…poor Momma was pretty sick.

Cominghome Day 1-7-1954

Coming Home Day – Yep, that little head is me

I look back over the years and realize some things were set from the beginning. The fact that his girls would be Daddy’s girls was a given. Momma always told me how Daddy was when I was an infant.

When I came home from the hospital my bassinette had to sit by his side of the bed. Momma said if I sneezed, coughed or grunted Daddy was Johnny on the spot to make sure all was right. There would be no choking to death, smothering or SIDS on his watch. He would even take late night and early morning feeding shifts to give Mom time for rest. Over the years we have kidded Daddy about being our “Jewish mother”…our six foot “Jewish mother” worrying over us and protecting us…

Oakley & girls

Daddy and his girls…guess who’s wearing braids?

I thought of all of this recently as I celebrated yet another birthday and marveled at the time passed. Momma and Daddy had called and wished me a Happy Birthday and sung Happy Birthday long distance. Of course Daddy’s special lyric is “Happy birthday little Texas girl…”

It just can’t be possible that so many years have passed since those very first birthdays, yet they have. That point was made plainly clear New Year’s Day. Tall & Handsome and I had gone out to run a few errands and pick up some ingredients for the Chinese dishes for my birthday dinner the next day.

I also needed to pick up some hair spray and other items so I ran into a beauty supply store. As I started to pay I noticed my discount card needed to be renewed. During the renewal process the clerk asked me if I was a certain age or older (keep in mind this age is a loooong way from 60 or any of those other ages people label as “senior”). What?! Me?! I thought… I looked at her slyly and pondered my answer.

Ok, now’s the time to decided whether I will be in denial or take advantage of saving money. Humm…let’s weigh this…vanity…saving money… Logic won. I looked at her and said, “You’re not going to believe this, but tomorrow is my birthday and I will be that exact age.”

She looked back at me and said, “That’s good enough.”

Darn. Did I just get my first senior discount?

Veritas Vos Liberabit – the truth shall set you free

So, in honor of that liberating moment, my birthday and the beginning of my journey I picked the Cupcake block as my first dairy block for The BamaSteelMagnolia™ Diaries.

Cupcake

The Cupcake Block – BamaSteelMagnolia(TM) Style

This block is a six inch appliqué block. I used the freezer paper appliqué method. It really went together quickly and I’m excited about future blocks. The challenge to myself was to see how much of my stash I could use. I’ve already fudged…I bought some fabric on my recent trip to Arizona to use in the diary blocks…it is a journey, right? That’s called justification…

Some fabrics in this block did come from my stash. The “icing” fabric was used in a project for my beloved Aunt LaRue, one of Momma’s sisters. (I had made her napkins with the fabric.) The “cupcake” and candle are fabric I had and have long forgotten their place of origin, but I remember the flame fabric was purchased at Connecting Threads.

It appears this quilt is developing in a red, white and blue color scheme (with accent colors thrown in)…one of my favorites. Blue is one of my favorite colors, and red is the color of garnet my birthstone…which I just happen to love.

Check in to see what Chapter two brings…

© 2009 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Applique Blocks, Birmingham AL, Birth, Birthday, Diary Quilt, East Tennessee Heritage, Fabric, Family, Fathers, Humor, Life, Parents, Photography, Quilt Blocks, Tall & Handsome, University of Tennessee

Bev’s New Year’s Beans, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Bev’s New Year’s Beans

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Every year after Christmas I usually have a ham bone leftover. I like to leave a little meat on the bone so I can make a big ol’ pot of bean soup shortly after New Year’s. My favorite ham to use is one of the spiral-cut hams because they have that great seasoning that adds additional wonderful flavors to your dish. I’ve used the ones from big named brand chain stores and the one’s you can get from Sam’s. Both provide excellent results.

Since I’m not really superstitious I don’t have what most people consider a “traditional” New Year’s Day meal…that would be greens and black eye peas in some form or fashion. Nope, since marrying Tall and Handsome I’ve adopted a new tradition of having Posole and warm tortillas for New Year’s. That is in recognition of his Southwestern heritage where Posole is considered a dish worthy of the holiday. This year we topped our New Year’s meal off with flan…than wonderful custard dessert from Spanish speaking countries.

Also, since my dad had his bypass surgery in 2005 and has been on Coumadin, greens are a big no-no in his diet. He hates that, too because being a good East Tennessee mountain boy, the man loves his greens. So, bye-bye greens, just another reason to adapt a traditional menu…

We had a scare with Daddy the week after Thanksgiving when his Coumadin level reached dangerously high levels. The plus side was he got to eat salads and greens. Momma had thrown out all the cans of Glory Be greens she had in the pantry because she was concerned Daddy might eat them “accidentally”. When this happened I told her she needed to keep a can or two behind a glass case they could break open “In Case of Emergency”.

Daddy was confined to the house for a week or so…to the torture of eating greens and salads. He did have to be careful. If he even cut himself shaving he could have bled to death. Coumadin can do scary things. In about a week, he went back to the doctor, got his levels checked and they were back down where they should be. Good news/bad news…no more greens…

Anyway after New Years, I got out the ham bone from Christmas and made that pot of beans…or really a bean soup…or as T & H says, it’s more like a stew. Rachael Ray calls those types of dishes “stoups”. Maybe this is what I fix…who knows, but it’s a Bev original. T & H says he’s never had beans fixed this way and he finds them “right tasty”. I think his bowls of seconds vouch for that.

You’ll notice I use a can of stewed tomatoes in the recipe. That’s a different ingredient from a lot of bean recipes. The reason is twofold in using tomatoes. First, I just find it downright tasty and good. Second, several years ago a medical study was released showing that tomato based foods were a good source to maintain prostate health and help prevent prostate cancer. My dad had a bout with prostate cancer about two years after my last bout of lung cancer. So, ladies…and guys…there you are, an easy and tasty and healthy way to fight what could be a deadly disease…so eat those tomatoes and tomato products! Yes, you now have an excuse to eat pizza…in moderation of course and with “healthy” toppings…am I a party pooper are what?

I usually serve with cornbread with this, but hot French bread/garlic bread would be just as good. And, this is a very good dish for cold days.

Enjoy!

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

Bev’s New Year’s Beans

By Beverly Hicks Burch

1 1 – pound bag beans of your liking (I like to use a 15 bean mix but have used pintos and other types)

1 ham bone with meat, trimmed of excess fat

8 – 10 cups water

Chicken broth

4 cubes chicken bouillon

1 onion, chopped

2 – 4 cloves minced garlic, to your taste (I use about 4)

½ teaspoon pepper

1 small bag baby carrots

2 – 4 potatoes

1 14 – 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes, any flavor to your taste (I used DelMonte basil, oregano and garlic this last time)

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Wash and pick over beans.

Put beans in a large stock pot and cover with 8 – 10 cups of water. Beans should be covered with 1 – 2 inches of water. Place on stove eye and bring to a rapid boil. Boil for 1 – 2 minutes then remove from heat and soak for at least 1 hour.

Next, to prepare to cook the beans, drain beans and pour off the water the beans soaked in. (Yes, this will cut down on the unpleasant side effects of beans!) Add beans back to stock pot and add the ham bone. Next, add enough liquid to equal 8 – 10 cups. I use all chicken broth or a combination of water and chicken broth.

Add the 4 cubes of chicken bouillon and begin to cook the beans over medium high heat until it almost comes to a full boil. In the meantime chop onion and mince garlic and add them to the beans and ham. Add ½ teaspoon pepper. Turn heat down to low or medium low and allow to simmer.

Allow your beans and these ingredients to cook until the beans begin to get soft. Depending on the type of bean you use, the time will vary. It will be anywhere from 1 – 2 hours, but may be more. Test the beans to see if they are beginning to soften.

Next add carrots and let them begin to cook. They will take a little longer to cook than the potatoes. Be sure they are washed before adding them to the beans. Peel potatoes, cut into chunks, about 1 ½ in. cubes and add to beans. Add the can of stewed tomatoes and cook until vegetables are tender. Add salt.

*Note: I use a brand of beans that has a seasoning pack included with the beans. I add this pack after everything else is done. It gives a little extra flavor. If you can’t find this brand beans you can adjust you seasoning by adding some garlic powder and onion powder or any other seasoning of you choice…that’s the beauty of this recipe!

Enjoy!

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Beans, cancer, Cooking, Coumadin, Family, Fathers, food, Health, Holidays, New Year, Prostate Cancer, recipes, Seasonal, Soup, Southerners, Tall & Handsome, Tennessee, The Story Behind..., Vegetables

Ouch, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Ouch

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Tag sale…yard sale…car boot sale…garage sale…rummage sale…what ever you may want to call it, Tall & Handsome and I have just survived our first one together. We held it at the end of a rather hectic week of getting ready for this move. Yes, “the” move.

It seems like this move has been going on forever…since August. It reminds me of the story I heard one time of a man who had a monkey with an unusually long tail. He decided to help the monkey out by cutting the tail off. Every day this guy’s neighbors heard the monkey screaming. One day a neighbor couldn’t stand it any longer…his curiosity just got the better of him. He went over and knocked on the monkey owner’s door and asked him what all the screaming was about. The owner explained the situation and said, “So, I decided to cut his tail off to help him out.”

The neighbor asked, “Well, ok, but, why has the monkey been screaming every day?”

The monkey’s benevolent, but clueless owner responded, “I didn’t want him to hurt as much, so instead of cutting the WHOLE tail off at once, I decided to cut it off an inch at a time so it wouldn’t hurt as bad!” Ouch!

Duh! The poor monkey was in the hands of Forrest Gump gone wild…

That’s kinda how I feel like this move has been going…and going…and going…an inch at a time. But, we are making progress! The company has finally approved a moving van and we can start moving forward…hopefully faster than an inch at a time!

The week T & H was home was strictly a work week. We threw out bags full of stuff to lighten our load some, and packed several boxes. And, we put a garage sale together pretty fast to further lighten the load. We did punch some holes in our plunder…that’s what my Daddy calls my years of accumulated treasures.

One man’s trash is truly another’s treasure…or in this case…one gal’s plunder is another’s treasure. I still have a lot to rid myself of. T & H and I have jokingly said we’ll have a “Just Moved” sale once we get settled. It’s funny, but in a way I found it cleansing and cathartic. I’m tired of carting around those ammo boxes and autographed baseball cards…that small table…those toys…that 1955 Nancy Drew book…and why do I need a butter cutter?

The chicken next door thought he’d make an appearance, which I thought was rather bold on his part. My little wonderkin, Watson, saw to it that Mr. Chicken Hung Phooey didn’t crash the party very long. He was brazen though, and his bobbin’ head crossed the line several times…much to Watson’s delight, who corralled him back into his own yard.

(By the way, I made the Shiner Bock Beans and the New Mexico Spoon Bread ahead of time so we would have something to nosh on after the sale. Yum! We couldn’t decide which we liked the best. They’re both easy to make and are great payoff for the effort. The beans are even better the next day.)

I was totally unaware when we set the date that last Saturday was the big weekend for the TennesseeAlabama football blood match. Had I known that, I might have had HUGE reservations for even attempting a garage sale on such a day. I would have doubted there would have been anyone that would even poke their head outside the four walls of their homes.

I also might have been a little concerned about the results of my sale. You see…T & H and I still have Alabama tags on our vehicles because we own property in Alabama.

The day of that game is a hard one for me every year. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I am an East Tennessee gal, born pure and simple. I was born at Blount Memorial Hospital as was one of my sisters. The other one was born in Greene County. I even lived in Hamilton County for a few years while Daddy worked in engineering there. But, then, the unimaginable happened…at least for most East Tennesseans. My Daddy moved us to Birmingham, Alabama when I was 12 years old and folks, I grew up in the Heart of Dixie.

I’ve seen many Alabama football games, both at Tuscaloosa and at Legion Field in Birmingham when Bear Bryant was the coach; and I’ve seen many a battle between Bama and the Vols. It was a mighty uncomfortable feeling to sit in the bleachers in Legion Field and have such divided loyalties. Daddy went to UT. I went to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Daddy will pull for Bama…except when they play the Vols.

And this weekend Bama thoroughly spanked the Vols…Ouch! Divided again, darn it!

We were so glad to get the garage sale over with. We met some nice people. I discovered my T & H is a dynamo under fire…well, of course he is…I married him didn’t I? By the time it was all said and done…two days, we were both in pretty bad shape. The last time I had a garage sale…years ago…my health wasn’t in such bad shape. I had egg-size knots on my joints and could hardly move from the pain. I told T & H the pain felt like I had given birth to a 15 pound baby through my nostril! Ouch!

In the middle of all this serene activity (note sarcasm) the plumbing in the poopy house (yep, pun intended) backed up, not once but, twice…once on Thursday and again on Saturday in the middle of the sale! Double Ouch!!

Whoever rents this house after us has a mess on their hands…no pun intended there. I’ve kept a little diary and it just may show up where our slum lord…em, landlady least expects…like the health department. Every plumber that comes out here tells us she’s had this problem for a long time and they’ve been out here many times before we moved in. They’ve told her she needs to replace her plumbing, but she doesn’t want to do it. I could give you a litany about this house, but, that just may be for another time…

The really good news? Well, next week the packers will be here two days, then, they will load up. By the 5th of November they will deliver our “plunder” to the new place. Folks, there is no “ouch” there! That is absolutely fantastic news! T & H and I will be able to live normally (for us) in the same state and we can start settling into the new place. I have one thing to say…Woohoo!!

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Bear Bryant, Birmingham, Chickens, Fathers, food, football, Garage Sales, Health, Moving, Pets, Southerners, Tall & Handsome, Tennessee, University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Tennessee, Watson

When Love Hurts, by Beverly Hicks Burch

This last week or so I’ve had a general overall feeling of malaise. Part of the source has been the fact that I’ve had some kind of funky bug and/or allergy. It started when my eyes did that wraith number, then made the transition into a cough that felt like whooping cough accompanied by the stomach bug from Hades…yeah, imagine that combo. Then, Tall & Handsome came down with a case of the same stuff and about the same time the Bansheescreeched. I felt like the world was on a Tilt-a-Whirl.

But, as I nursed each offending condition along and tried to get both of us into some state of “wellness” I began to understand some other things were affecting my mood…well, at least what one thing was.

It seems like the American family, people, humanity is imploding upon itself. Just in the last few weeks we have seen the Virginia Tech shootings; a shooting and killing on the campus of NASA in Houston, TX; a mother in Texas who hung herself and three of her young children; near Chicago, Chris Vaughn was found shot in the leg in his SUV along with his dead wife and three dead children. He was arrested prior to their memorial service for their murder.

As I write this, near Atlanta, GA a famous pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and seven year old son Daniel have been found dead. Benoit had an upcoming Pay-per-View wrestling event on cable TV. He had called the powers to be and notified them he would be unable to participate because of a family emergency. He failed to mention the emergency was the fact that on Saturday, June 23, 2007 he strangled his wife Nancy to death after he had bound her hands and feet, or the fact that on Sunday, June 24, 2007 he smothered his seven year old disabled son Daniel to death. Benoit then hanged himself sometime on Sunday night or Monday. There was a history of domestic abuse in the family. Steroids and other drugs were found in the home during the investigation.

To add insult to injury, a tribute was paid on TV to this man by the wrestling community the Monday evening his body was found. Why does a child killer, a man guilty of killing his own disabled child deserve a tribute? I guess that only confirms what I have suspected and thought of the gonzo sport of “pro wrestling”. Not much…

Lisa Stebic, 30 has been missing since April 30, 2007. No one knows where she is. She went out to go jogging and never came back. Some suspect her estranged husband who hasn’t been really forthright with the police. Lisa’s story was knocked off the front page by the Jessie Davis story.

In my head over and over I keep hearing the old rock standard “Love Hurts”. Yeah, no kidding…

Jessie Davis, 26 of Canton, OH and her unborn infant daughter Chloe, are the latest victims in a long line of people who have suffered behind the old adage, “love hurts”. Jessie had a two year old son, Blake by a Canton, OH police officer Bobby Cutts, Jr. Officer Cutts is the reported father of Ms Davis’ murdered unborn infant daughter.

What’s the harm you may be asking? Well, Mr. Cutts is a married man who has at least one reported child with his wife. He also has a nine year old daughter by a former Houston Oilers Cheerleader AND while seeing Jessie Davis and being married, it has been reported he was seeing another woman. I’m sorry, but, can we say low-down, low-life dog here? Who in the name of God would want someone like this to be the example and role model for their child to follow as a father?! Ultimately, Bobby Cutts, Jr. and a female friend were arrested for the murder of Jessie Davis and his unborn baby daughter, Chloe.

In my opinion, it’s criminal the old adage “love hurts” even exists…to what purpose? No, love should not hurt!

Let’s look at some definitions of love for a minute:

Love [luv]

1.Very strong affection – an intense feeling of tender affection and compassion

2.Passionate attraction and desire – a passionate feeling of romantic desire and sexual attraction

3.Somebody much loved

4.Romantic affair

5.Strong liking – strong liking for or pleasure gained from something

6.Beloved

7.God’s love for humanity – the mercy, grace and charity shown by God to humanity

*From the Encarta Dictionary

Now, those are just a few of the definitions from one dictionary for the word love. Do you see anything that remotely suggests that love should be cruel?

Jessie’s case is eerily similar to the Laci Peterson and the Lori Hacking case. Lori was the young wife that was murdered by her husband because she discovered he had been lying about attending medical school. Her husband Mark shot her in her sleep and then dumped her remains in a landfill in an attempt to cover up the fact that he had not been attending medical school and would not be moving from Utah to North Carolina.

If we all reach back in our memories I’m sure we can pull something horrid from our minds that has set there haunting us, asking us, “How could they?” I can think back to John List who murdered his whole family, including his mother, wife and children in 1971.

Then there’s O.J Simpson and the Trial of the Century. If you followed the O. J. case with even modest interest you became acutely aware of the years of domestic abuse Nicole Brown Simpson suffered at the hands of O. J. Who can forget the pictures of Nicole’s battered and bruised face, the accounts of battering, control and verbal abuse she suffered from the very start of their fated relationship? I can only ask why? Why put yourself through this? Why put your children though this and expose them to this environment, this life style? For the fame? For the money?For breast implants, plastic surgery, a political career?

If you are a woman and you are in a relationship and love hurts…you’re in the wrong place. Get out…fast. Do not be a Laci Peterson or a Jessie Davis or a Nicole Simpson or any of the unknown names and faces of countless other women across this country. Let me tell you why. You owe it to yourself and to your children to show them a better life…a life where love doesn’t hurt. If you put yourself and your children in harms way with these men, with these people it is a given…you will be hurt and your children will suffer and a cycle will be perpetuated. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out, although there is plenty of scientific and psychological research to back it up.

I was watching a pundit on TV the other day during the coverage of the Jessie Davis affair. He made reference to the fact that men (and people) like Bobby Cutts, Jr. and Scott Peterson are sociopaths and psychopaths. Girls, men like that are not just famous serial killers and they are not all in jail or prison. They are around us every day, every where…they are the Snakes in Suits. They are smooth, charming and seem caring. But, beware! There are signs. You can not and will not ever be able to change them. NO NEVER. No matter what you dono you will never be able to “love” him enough to change him…it just won’t happen. Move on…to a better life for you and your children.

Yes, I have made some poor choices in the past…I’ve been hurt. I’ve seen family members hurt. Someday I may share the details. Sometimes I feel like the keeper of secrets. There are things I wish I could change. But, there’s also something else I know…love doesn’t have to hurt! Consider this:

Love is:

  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Not Jealous
  • Does Not Brag and is not provoked
  • Does not take into account a wrong suffered
  • Rejoices in truth
  • Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all, things endures all things
  • Love never fails

“…if I have the faith to move a mountain, but do not have love, I am nothing…and if I give all my possessions to feed the poor and my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing…now faith, hope, love, abide these three, but the greatest of these is love…”

Oh, by the way, that little bit of wisdom came from a much maligned and seldom read book…the Bible from the book of I Corinthians Chapter 13. Hummm…

Earlier I mentioned there had been a tribute to Chris Benoit, the pro wrestler who murdered his family. I found that so totally inappropriate. The man did not deserve a tribute. Let me juxtapose a different tribute here…a personal story.

In 1962, a baby girl was born in the little East Tennessee town of Greenville, TN. She was small, just under seven pounds, but her parents thought she was perfect. They brought her home to join her two older sisters. She seemed healthy and happy, but at some point, tragedy happened. The baby girl became sick…very sick. After testing it was finally determined the baby girl had the birth defect known as cerebral palsy. It was heartbreaking. The doctors advised the parents to institutionalize the baby, but they would hear nothing of it…she was part of the family and she would stay part of the family. That was an unheard of attitude in those days. That “baby girl” is my sister and she is still at home today with my parents. My Daddy was one man who did not tuck tail and run…he has been there for his wife and his girls…all of them. He took care of us…he loved our Momma and he loved us.

People…love does not have to hurt…at least not like we have been seeing in the news of late. We need to set a better example for our children. Let’s show them that love is kind, love is patient, love hopes all things…and that love can be safe.

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under "Bobby Cutts, "Chris Benoit", "Chris Vaughn", "Jessie Davis", "Lisa Stebic", "NASA shooting", Child Welfare, Domestic abuse, Family, Fathers, John List, Laci Peterson, Lori Hacking, Love, Mental health, Murder, News, Nicole Brown Simpson, O. J. Simpson, Snakes in Suites, Tall & Handsome, Virginia Tech

My First Crush, by Beverly Hicks Burch

My First Crush

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Most little Southern girls’ first crush is on their daddy. It’s nothing weird or unnatural…it’s actually quite chaste and natural. A good daddy gives us our guidance, is our rock, our example, our protector, our everything…well almost. To me there was God…then there was Daddy. Daddy is like a Lighthouse…a guide in a storm. His values are rock solid, he lives by them and he’s passed them down to me…whether he realizes it or not. Wrap all of that with East Tennessee mountain boy modesty and a brilliant mind that understands things this wordsmith finds amazing.

When I was little, my friends would get a crush on my Dad. They thought he looked like Elvis. Actually he was better looking. He was tall, had dark black hair and big sultry grey eyes fringed by long jet black lashes.

Oakley Hicks - Dec. 1975Not too long after I married I was working at a bank not too far away from where Daddy worked. He popped in one day on his lunch. This was a large branch. I saw Daddy stride across the lobby as I looked up front the customer I was attending to. He threw up his hand and waved, I grinned and waved backed. He took care of his business and I went about my business. On his way out he waved again. After the lunch hour had calmed down one of the tellers came scurrying up to me and said, “Who was that good-looking guy flirting with you?” Huh? She recounted what she had seen, and then incensed I explained that was my dad. She couldn’t believe it. My Mom could…that’s why she married him!

During my last bout of lung cancer in my left lung, Daddy was there. It was the days of HMO’s, not major medical like during the days of my first lung cancer in my right lung. The treatment was very different…and faster…think easy in…easy out…easy home. Except for the patient. After taking 60% of my left lung out because of cancer, I was sent home one week to the day after having surgery. When I had my first surgery in 1982, I was in the hospital for several weeks. Well, to say that Daddy didn’t “cotton” to them turning his oldest girl out of the hospital like that was putting it mildly.

I was sent home that day with only a mild pain med, no antibiotic and had not even had my temp taken before I was sent home. I was sent home running a fever and the attending surgeon had gone out of town. There was a lot that happened that day, but long story short, my Dad saw to it that the HMO knew they would be held responsible if anything happened to me. I believe the way he put it was, “If I have to mortgage my house and get the best attorney in town, you will hear from me if something happens to my daughter.” (Gomez, the ex, on the other hand did absolutely nothing but stand around and twiddle his thumbs. And as I reflect back, considering his behavior later and the things he did and said, maybe he was counting on something happening to me.)

About two years later Daddy had his own scare with cancer, and like the Project Manager he had been, he jumped right in and managed the situation right away. Between that and Daddy’s strong Faith he pulled through…big time. Of course, I had been sick with worry. To date Daddy has remained cancer free.

In September 2005 we had another scare with Daddy. It was his heart. We never suspected it. It came out of no where. He had had a little dizziness. The day before he went to the doctor he had gone to the track and walked a mile or more. Tall & Handsome and I had just moved to East Tennessee a few months before and my own health was not too good at the time. Mom called and said Daddy was at the hospital and they were going to do surgery the next day. At 6:00 AM…there was no way I could get there in time. He had to have 6 by-passes. Yes, you read that right…6.

Once again, Daddy tackle recovery like a Project Manager. It was kinda hard at first. It always is anytime you have major surgery like that. Tall & Handsome and I went down as soon as we could. T & H always likes to try and cook for them…mostly grill. Momma said Daddy had not had much of an appetite after he came home from the hospital. So, we took it upon ourselves to cook something for Daddy that he would eat and enjoy. Daddy enjoys flavorful, spicy…sometimes downright hot food. We had to avoid MSG and high sodium/salt. Now, Daddy is a “tea-totaler”, but we knew this recipe would be good, and acceptable. We fixed the Tequila Lime Chicken, some Spanish rice and grilled corn for Daddy. He ate it. Mom said it was the most she had seen it eat after he came home from the hospital. We also like to serve it with flan.

So, two years later, Daddy is “blowing and going”. He and Mom are building a house…and I’m glad I have another Father’s Day with my “first crush”. Try the chicken for yours…bet he likes it, too…

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Fathers, food, Health, Tennessee