I never knew my great grandfather, Daniel Thomas Eye, very well, but I remember he was a gentle, kind man that enjoyed making baskets. He had a small one room cabin down by the creek where he could put the little oak trees he gathered while walking in the woods and allow the constant water to run over them to make them soft enough to work with. As a kid I loved seeing all his baskets and the cabin even had a bed and coffee pot for him to use whenever he wanted. Now he had a room in his daughter’s house that was just up the hill but when he got busy he could always sleep in his cabin if he wanted to. As a child his cabin looked like a big doll house to me and my sister. We loved being down there and the creek provided hours of fun too. The water was cool and a perfect place to be on hot summer days. When growing up we got to spend a lot of time in West Virginia with our relatives on our mom’s side. They all seemed to be so good at what they set out to do. Whether it be baking or canning or farming or in this case basket weaving, they would take pride in their work and soon became professionals at it. Since my mother, Anna Lee Tracy Brevard, was Pap Eye’s first grandchild and I was his first great granddaughter, he made me the smallest basket he ever made. I’ve kept it with joy and then my daughter, Heather Atkinson, used it in her wedding to hold the rose pedals her little flower girl sprinkled as she walked down the aisle. So down through the generations we are still using these beautiful baskets made with perfection.
Note: Steve Spicer from Circleville, Ohio has made these baskets for years and won many art contests for his expert craftmenship.
Rev. P. Lewis Brevard
There are so many fun and good things that I will say of our “Daddy”, Paul Lewis Brevard. He was the only child of Joel and Callie Brevard, born with a separated lip and cleft palate. But his parents made sure he never felt sorry for himself, and they did a good job of this, too. He told me that on his first day of junior high, kids were making fun of him and he went home crying day after day until his father told him enough was enough! My grandfather, Pap as I called him, said “you come home one more day crying, I’m going to spank you hard enough you’ll have something real to cry about.” So the next day when he went to school and the same teasing happened, he knew he had to take care of things for himself. So he did. He gathered up all the courage he could muster and tore into the boy who was doing the most teasing!! When my dad did this with all he had, he won the fight. And he said from then on, that boy became his best friend, and he never had to fight again because his friend would do it for him. With that hurdle behind him he could concentrate on other things he enjoyed. He found out he had a natural talent for playing the guitar, and play he did. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania could hear his music from one end of the city to other. The more he played the better he became. He could play by ear and read the notes. He played in high school and college, forming groups and traveling to Cuba and other foreign countries. He even played at the Grand Ole Opry with other guitar greats like Chet Atkins. Once he was asked to be in Hank Williams band, but he chose to go the Christian route instead .
The trio is Barney Pierce, Buford Cruise, Lewis Brevard
He was always happy and loved to play jokes on people. On his 21st birthday he was standing at the bottom of his parents stairs calling up to them saying, “Mom, Dad there’s a man down here!! Hurry!!” His father came running down the stairs, past my dad, looking franticly and turned back to asked my dad, where ? My Dad said pointing to himself, “right here, Dad. I became a man today.”
After college in N.Y. he went to Cincinnati, Ohio to God’s Bible School, and that’s where he met my mother. She had heard him play on the radio when she was in high school in West Virgina, and when she heard him again she remarked to a friend how much she enjoyed his music. The girl said, “I know him and he’s playing right now at the radio station. Would you like to go meet him?” Well, you already know her answer, and meet him she did! They eventually married and moved to Circleville, Ohio where he managed the printing office for the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Along with this, he continued to play his guitar as much as he could, going from church to church all over Ohio, Indiana and Illinois and sometimes to several other states as well. We as a family would go along with him and sing and mom would play the piano. This was a fun family activity we enjoyed together for many, many years.
Through the years Dad would get the chance to work in Washinton, DC, for the government printing office, and we almost moved there. But after doing this job for awhile he decided it would be better for us kids to grow up in Circleville, Ohio so he returned to the publishing department there. He also was given the chance to work in Columbus for the Weekly Reader and enjoyed that until they wanted him to move to Connecticut. He had grown up in a large city, Pittsburgh, Pa. and now enjoyed the smaller city life. So again, he turned that down. He was a happy man and I think the decisions he made through his life came with a lot of prayer first.
Paul Lewis Brevard, Lew to most people, was known as a Christian Gentleman who wore a black hat with his suit, had a song in his heart and a joke in his pocket.
In 1946 when Mom and dad were on their honeymoon in Southern California, they drove by this quaint little place called Orange Inn. They were advertising “date milkshakes”. Who had ever heard of that unless you lived in California? Immediately they drove in and drank one! It became my Dad’s favorite milk shake forever.
A date farmer in Southern California created it in 1930. It is very tasty and very rich so you don’t need a large one! For your information, every year in Indio, California in February there is a date festival, featuring, of course, date shakes! Anyone want to go? Let me know and we’ll go together.