Guest post by my 3rd cousin, Tony Davis.
Susie has graciously allowed me to post this brief article on my aunt, Norma Jean (McClure) Davis, who was married to my uncle, C. Gene Davis. My father was Lynn Arthur Davis, and Uncle Gene was his older brother. For those who don’t know, their father was Clarence Davis, son of William Harley and Janie (Giles) Davis. Harley was a son of William Lynn and Sarah (Robertson) Davis. Susie and I are related two ways: Harley’s brother Jim Davis married Florence Higginbotham, and Harley’s sister Mollie Davis married Major Harris! A small world, especially south Miller County in the early 1900’s!
With the recent passing of my Uncle Gene on October 30, 2013, my Aunt Agnes, who married Uncle Gene in 1973, gave me old photos that Uncle Gene had taken as a teenager, as well as photos of Uncle Gene’s first wife, Norma Jean. Norma Jean was the daughter of Dan Henry and Oberia (McDonald) McClure.
She and Uncle Gene married in 1949, and she died unexpectedly on January 2, 1966 in Texarkana. She is buried at East Memorial Gardens. These are the facts of her brief life, but not really why I wanted to write this article.
My aunt and uncle did not have any children, so I guess I was in some way a substitute. I was very close to them, as we lived in those early years in Texarkana, before my father joined the FBI and we moved away. Everyone who knew her thought she was a very classy lady, always dressed sharply and elegantly, long red fingernails, cat-eye glasses, the epitome of 1950’s and early 1960’s style. My mother, Sue, tells the story of the time I got into a nest of chiggers, and was literally covered with them. I wouldn’t let anybody pick them off except my aunt Norma Jean.
When I first started reading Susie’s blog I found a picture she had posted of the “Radar Squares” square dancing club. What I soon realized was that my Uncle Gene and Aunt Norma Jean were in the same picture with Edna and Earl Higginbotham! Once again a small world!
It’s funny that you don’t usually know about your relatives growing up, unless you are inquisitive, as we genealogists are. When my father died, I knew he was a cheerleader at Texarkana, Arkansas High, but I didn’t know he was also part of a tumbling team, and played a lead part in the Senior High play. When my Uncle Gene died, I didn’t realize he was such an avid photographer as a teenager. Aunt Agnes gave me several photo books full of pictures he had taken of friends and activities in his life growing up in Texarkana. I also didn’t know that my Aunt Norma Jean was a band majorette at Texarkana, Arkansas High School. There are a lot of pictures of her that Uncle Gene took. How young and carefree everyone looked! I guess God allows most of us those easy times in life to help make up for the tough times.
I have included some of the pictures I was given by Aunt Agnes, who is also a very stylish (and fun!) lady. Uncle Gene was a very lucky man to have married two such lovely women. A tear comes to my eye when I think of my dear Aunt Norma Jean, and most recently my Uncle Gene. Thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane.