ASHS Column for 11 17 2005
The Story of Daisy
We have been remiss in being so late in noting
the passing of one of our old members. Last
month, Jerry Fischer and I attended the funeral
of John Carlton Franklin who was a fellow
worker with my husband at St. Regis many years
ago. Mr. Carlton was a member of the Society
and donated the old-fashioned crank telephone
that hangs on the wall in the Post Office Museum.
Mr. Franklin was a collector. No, not an ordinary
collector - a super collector. If you ever
visited his home you would have seen everything
from buggies, Models A & T, ox carts, brown Coca-
Cola bottles, tools and machinery to a man-made
forest scene. That last item was the neatest. He
hauled in dirt to make a small hill and planted
it with authentic flora to recreate what the woods
used to look like. He wanted his grandchildren to
see the way things were before big companies moved
in to clear-cut and change the landscape from the
way he knew it as a boy and young man.
Whether you knew Mr. Franklin or not, you would always recognize him on the street. He was the short fellow in the khaki pants and shirt with the brown felt hat on his head and the big cigar in his mouth. We already miss him.
Now I want to get to the promised story of the mule Daisy, but with a preface. In his book, Our Man in Vienna, Richard Timothy Conroy writes: "Memoirs are just that. What the author remembers. They are always subjective, often ill informed - just like life, in fact. They are not history.
Of course history is not history, either, it is just something better researched (usually) than its poor cousin, the memoir. A good history contains the opinions of many people, a consensus, maybe. If the opinions of many people are wrong, history becomes myth. If the memoirist's opinion is wrong, then it becomes just a comment about the author. Quaint, perhaps, but nothing more than that."
All of that being said, here is The Story of The Mule Daisy as recalled by Lillian Green of McDavid:
"She had a notch in her ear indicating she had killed someone. That was before Daddy got her. My brother Donald was riding her and a bicycle rider spooked her and he broke his arm. Dr. John had him carry it on the level of the breast much too long and he was never able to get his arm in the normal position. They wouldn't take him in the service. He had several jobs but retired from Reichold Chemical after about 35 - 40 years. He retired as an electrician.
I proudly helped Daddy get the wood for our house and Grandma Huie's. The house that my brother and sister bought in 1944 for $450 had 3 creosote posts set in position to avoid trespassing to get to the next house.
I was driving Daisy with the wagon and she went through 2 of those posts. It was a miracle that I was not hurt and the wagon was not destroyed. Daddy always had us take Daisy to a little branch below our house about twice a day to get water. My sister, Mavis, caught Daddy visiting some of the older children so she taught Daisy to drink from the pump. Daddy never appreciated that.
Daisy eventually grew old and blind and Daddy had her killed by shooting her. That was very hard on Daddy."
Now that account left me wondering about some things. I have heard of notches in guns to denote men killed, but never did I know of a notch in an animal's ear for that purpose. Can any of you readers educate us on that custom? Another thing - the statement, "That was very hard on Daddy." It seemed to be rather hard on Daisy, too. Maybe that brought to mind our treatment of people and animals as they get old and blind. Fair warning to my children - I am old, but not yet quite blind, so don't get any ideas or I'll notch your ears.
Lillian has some more stories about Tom, Red, Bully (all oxen) and an old red cow, Butthead. At another time we'll introduce these characters to you to help you understand life in the McDavid area many years ago.
Two of our members, Bob Calloway and Don Sales, represented us in Tallahassee last week in our quest for a grant to get Old 100 back to Century. They were well received so we hope to have good news soon. We will hear whether the grant application was approved.
Our latest museum tour was on Friday, the 11th. About 30 young folks from the Outward Bound program joined us to learn more about the history of Century and life in this area of Florida. Acting as tour guides were Sweet Stuckey, Margaret Collier, Don Sales and Jerry Simmons.
Since this column is appearing after the Society's November meeting you will just have to contain your curiosity until next week's Ledger when Jerry will bring you up-to-date. Even though it is said that curiosity killed the cat, it is also well-known that satisfaction revived the poor beast, so hang in there, dear Readers, 'cause next week will soon be here!
This page last modified on Thursday, November 24, 2005