Brians's Tribute to Tim Davis
December 28, 2001
For my friend, Tim and his wife, Ellis
My family moved into West Gate in Cross Lanes, W.Va. in 1966. It was a fairly new development with houses springing up here and there along West Karen Circle with new families moving into them as they were being completed. Tim was one of the first people I became friends with there. I got to know his whole family.
I became instant friends with Tim and Ronnie. However, I saw their oldest brother Steve, just like I saw my oldest brother Doug….too tall to deal with and better to stay out of his way. Of course, as little sisters go, I can only sympathize with Kathy, because my little sister had it the same growing up with nothing but boys around, but I'm sure Kathy got her licks in just like my sister did.
As time went on, other families moved in and our little entourage became a rather large contingency of neighborhood kids that would roam the entire area together, in large groups, small groups or pairs…every street, every wooded path, every stream or hill. What we were looking for, it sure beats the heck out of me, but we always did it together and would have fun doing it.
Of course, we would do the usual kid things…play touch football, King of the Hill, baseball, basketball at Tim's, wiffle ball, collect and trade baseball cards.
We also did some unusual kid things. We would dig these enormous holes in the ground, stick in some support beams, put plywood over it, leave a small space on top and then jump in to have our own little private "dens". I still wonder today if people in West Gate are finding these enormous holes in the earth and wondering, "what the heck is that?"
We would make our own bows and arrows and then have target practice. It was almost like being inducted into a rag-tag special forces military group. We had our group leaders and sub-leaders and, of course, Tim was out there in front.
Tim taught me a great deal growing up, but he did it in such a way, that I never really had to ask him anything. He just did it by being my friend. Over the years, we'd occasionally hear from each other. In 1985, he attended my wedding at the St. Albans Church of God. I was so glad he was able to be there. We have him on our wedding video. He later went out with my brothers and sister.
In the year 2000, I wanted to know what Tim was up to, so I was able to track him down through an Internet search and found him through an infinetivity email address. From then on we were able to catch up by phone or email. He had asked me after I found him again if I had heard from one of our old buddies from West Gate. I said I hadn't, but that I would see what I could find out. I found our old friend, John Ehlinger, through Classmates.com and was able to get John back in contact with Tim. When Tim found out that I had found him, he said, "Okay, wiseguy, where's Jimmy Hoffa?" I'm still working on that one. I was glad that John had a chance to see Tim on his way out to the Northwest, where he lives now. John let me know how grateful to me he is for taking the initiative to find him and allowing him and Tim to be together one last time. Hey, what are friends for?
That's the amazing part of all this. Even with Tim gone, he continues to teach and inspire me. I've realized that every minute of every day is a precious gift and the people we come to know and love are precious as well. Tim has left me a wonderful gift as well, that I will continue to give to others. His laugh, his warmth, his smile and his friendship.
Thank you, Tim for being my friend! Thanks also to Ellis, Wilma, Steve, Ronnie and Kathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Brian S. Miller