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Spring fire didn't destroy everything family had

(c)2012 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL

The new home built by Eddie Ball Construction was ready to move in by late
September. It looks strikingly like their former home on the same spot. Their
home of 40-plus years burned in late April 2012.
Published: 6:32 PM, 11/09/2012
 

Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Some sunshine greeted military veterans this weekend on the eve of Veterans Day in our hometown, awaiting an early Thanksgiving and a warming trend to reduce fuel bills.

We got some interesting news at Fox & Hounds banquet room during our Tuesday Kiwanis meeting. Newport Kiwanian Tim Dockery, parks and recreation director, reported the club had a successful Halloween event again this year for local children. More than 4,800 people went through the park gates Halloween night and of that number 1,100 were children ages 10 and under. The club provided funds to buy 1,200 candy bars to give to these children, said Dockery. It was a safe night filled with candy and fun at Newport City Park thanks to Kiwanis and park and recreation staff.

 

Lifestyle restored by new home

 

I continue my visit of a couple of weeks ago to the Robert and Kate James home in Shady Grove, the site in April 2012 of a devastating fire that destroyed their home of about 40 years. Most everything they had accumulated was lost but a few items did survive. Most importantly they have their family and friends, especially those in the Crum family.

Yet, there were some surprises in days after the fire, a bleak time but their daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Herb Cureton, took them in and began the rebuilding.

Barbara (Robbie) said she was able to rescue many of the shrubs, including some hydrangeas given as gifts decades ago. She moved these into the vegetable garden setting them into the soil until the days they could be moved for late summer landscaping.

This replanting took place after master mason Larry Shults completed the brick work. The slightly darker red brick and the missing giant maple tree struck by lightning are among the few things that let people know this is a different house.

Johnny Raines had commented to Kate, she said, that "if you didn't know better you would never know the house had gone."

During the clearing of the debris a few items were found including two of Kate's rings, one a diamond wedding ring found by her daughter and another by her nephew Timmy Ramsey. The jewelry had fallen straight down from the bedroom to the basement floor.

Then she got another surprise, as her daughter reminded her of their original sofa and chair that they began housekeeping with was still being stored at Arvel James' home. He is Robert's brother. The orange-red maple chair and sofa are now in the new home's sunroom.

These pieces and others were purchased from Southern Furniture Sales about 62 years ago. And a kitchen item that Kate hadn't known was missing returned home.

Sheila Huskey, a church friend brought in Kate's Tupperware cake cover that she had left at the church more than a year ago. It still had some cake in it and so Kate gave it to Sheila, who took the covered cake home.

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